Christine G. owns The Vintage Kitty, a boutique that sells furniture, artwork, antique books, and other eclectic items. Located with other art and collectible stores in an antique mall, Christine considers The Vintage Kitty a “conscious boutique” both because of the unique artwork she carries and because she uses her store as a venue to raise awareness for animal rescue.
Christine offers consignment for people who don’t have a venue to sell their work. Consignment means that she sells their item at her store without actually buying it from them. They are compensated if the item sells, but if it does not sell, she is not left with inventory she cannot move. She says consignment has helped keep her costs and inventory low. She advertises through Facebook and Craigslist, in addition to her own webpage and blog. If necessary, she will even go door-to-door to ask people if they have things they want to sell.
As Christine continues to grow and develop The Vintage Kitty, she looks to further hone its image by carrying more selective work. Christine says that she is not necessarily interested in carrying “exclusive artwork,” but instead focuses on carrying smart, unique pieces that show creativity. She does not plan to limit her business contacts to professional artists, but also is interested in talented, amateur artists that create for fun.
Christine heard of ACCION Texas-Louisiana through theredshoes.org, an organization that empowers women through personal and spiritual development. Christine is using this loan to improve the store’s appearance through new displays, and to grow her inventory.
Christine strongly believes that with will-power, you can achieve anything. She was the first person in her family to graduate from high school, and the first to attend and graduate from college. Christine actively works with the local Baton Rouge animal rescue. She keeps her store stocked with animal rescue literature, and uses her home as a foster home for rescue cats.
Her long-term goal is to move The Vintage Kitty to its own location. Having a stand-alone store would provide her the freedom to better create the image she wants for her business, as well as let her use her store as a center for rescue cats. The rescue cat center would be separate from her business, and would be maintained and supported by the local animal rescue center.
LiftFund. (www.liftfund.com) is an award-winning nonprofit organization (previously known as Accion Texas) with a mission to provide credit and loans to small and start-up businesses that have limited or no access to credit from commercial sources. Established in 1994 in San Antonio, LiftFund has helped Texas and Louisiana entrepreneurs strengthen their businesses, stabilize and increase their incomes, create employment, and contribute to the economic revitalization of their communities. Learn more at www.liftfund.com.