Small Business Q&A: The Hub Boutique
This family-owned and operated men's and women's clothing business in Merchant's Walk will celebrate its first anniversary in November.
"If you got it, you got it," a hard-to-argue-with philosophy taught to The Hub Boutique owner Laura Fanoe by her grandmother, Laura Krushansky.
"My grandmother and I had fun together. She was a fiery Venezuelan, a gorgeous woman, who always talked about the great times her and my aunt had owning and running their own clothes boutique, that was called The Hub," Fanoe remembers, "My grandmother and I always talked about opening a store together."
An "If you got it" outlook inspired 28-year-old Fanoe to open her store one year ago when she came into money that could either be saved or used as capital. The business involves Fanoe's parents, brother, in-laws, cousin, aunt and sister in-law. Grandmother Krushansky passed two years ago and her entrepreneurial spirits lives on.
Fanoe is responsible for buying and marketing. She attends Atlanta Apparel Markets shows to find lines to sell that satisfy a casual sophisticated style with emphasis on classic pieces for customers ranging in age from teens to midlife adults.
Vineyard Vines men's polo shirts retail for $80, women's shirts average under $50. Southern Tide, ZOA Clothing, jeans lines: AG, True Religion, James Jeans, and, Henry & Belle are lines that Fanoe said sell well in her store.
The Hub "in the E.C." anniversary party will include champagne and cupcakes, date to be announced.
Q. What's the best thing about your job?
A. Getting to be one up on next season fashions, and, working with family.
Q. What is the best thing about East Cobb?
A. It's a big place and it's small at the same time. I get to meet a lot of people who know someone I know, a friend of my brother's or someone who also goes to the Catholic Church of St. Ann. And, everything you need is here; restaurants like, Seed Kitchen & Bar, shopping, the movie theater.
East Cobb tends to have a bit more money than average, and, everyone's typically really nice and appreciative of what they have. People here have great morals. It's safe, a tight-knit community.
Q. Why did you choose to open your business in East Cobb?
A. We saw a need for a boutique like ours. There's no other small store for men in the area.
Also, it's our home. There's no other place we'd open our first store. My husband, Kevin Fanoe, and I both graduated from Walton High School. My younger sister is at Walton.
Q. Why did you pick this kind of business?
A. It's in the family. My grandmother and aunt founded The Hub Boutique in Indiana in the 1970s and ran it for years, before my grandparents moved to this area. A love of fashion is something my grandmother and I shared.
Q. What are some of the services you offer that people may not know about?
A. Shipping. We will ship for Christmas or to daughters and sons away at college.
We call when shipments of clothes come in if we know the customer is looking for something in particular.
There are toys in the dressing rooms for customers' children; everyone who works here has kids. We also keep a TV on sports for the men, offer beer and wine to customers on the weekends.
Q. When did you start your business?
A. Nov. 3, 2011.
Q. How did your business get started?
A. We picked this place because the space is on the small side and the lease has flexibility. It's our first store and we have plans to grow in size. We would also like to open another location. Keep it a family business, and grow it.
Q. Do you have advice for anyone who'd like to start a small business in this area?
A. Pay close attention to every minute detail. Even if you think it won't make a difference, the small things do matter.
Q. Is there anything else you'd like our readers to know?
A. We try really hard to always meet our customers' needs. We work to make sure that all our customers leave happy.
Laura Fanoe, owner
1311 Johnson Ferry Rd, Suite 140, next to Kohl's at Merchant's Walk