August 4, 2023
Most college students don’t directly apply the lessons they learn in class to their careers until after graduation. For LSUS undergraduate business student Mason Anderson, she’s putting her knowledge into action now as the owner and operator of The Savvy Boutique.
The Haughton resident started her online boutique in June of 2022 and simultaneously decided to enroll at LSUS in management and administration in the College of Business. The Savvy Boutique is thriving one year in as Anderson operates a successful online business while doing pop-up events and attending local festivals. “Before I started at LSUS that fall, I spent months teaching myself how to use HTML and liquid coding to build and customize my website,” said Anderson, who is also pursuing a minor in Information Systems to better handle her website and business operations. “The things I have learned just in my first year at LSUS have tremendously helped my business.
“I learned more about supply chain management and different systems that businesses use to operate more efficiently. I have implemented a CRM (customer relationship management) system that helps reach customers by automation based on the behavior of the users.” The Savvy Boutique offers a wide array of clothing and accessories that aim to strike a fashionable yet chic and professional tone.
But the Parkway High graduate’s interest in fashion didn’t materialize as a teenager consuming magazines and the latest trends. It was borne out of necessity as a cosmetologist and then a banker who “couldn’t find business casual attire that wasn’t just black slacks and a white button up.”
“I wanted to bring more modern business casual attire for the typical working mother like myself,” Anderson said. “There is such a fine line between dressing trendy and business casual without looking like you are going to dinner with friends. “Boutiques are meant to be original and portray the style and brand of the owner, but over time as you learn your customer base, you tend to cater more to them and what they want. We have adapted to our ever-changing customer base, and we now offer a mix of pieces from athleisure to business casual.”
Anderson has always desired to own a business, but the COVID-19 pandemic pushed her down that path.
Indulge Spa inside Horseshoe Casino closed, sending Anderson on a search for a career that allowed her to spend more time with her daughter Myleigh. A single mother at the time, Anderson finished an associate’s degree at Bossier Parish Community College and dove into banking at a local credit union. But the itch to own a business never went away, and Anderson decided that she’d start her own boutique and enroll in business classes at LSUS in 2022.
Anderson, who married in 2020 and had a son Liam, juggles her two children, college classes and her boutique. “It is by far one of the most challenging things I have ever done,” Anderson said, who will turn 28 this year. “My faith in Jesus and my studies at LSUS has really helped guide my decisions when it came to my business, which led me to finding my business partner Kasey Timms.
“She was another boutique owner who was stretching herself thin, and growing our business together is one of the best decisions we could’ve ever made. I think a lot of people underestimate what it takes to start a small business. It entails a lot of personal sacrifices that many people aren’t willing to make – lots of sweat and lots of tears.”
The combination of online sales and marketing paired with attending pop-up events has created a solid customer base for The Savvy Boutique.
“We’ve really been able to grow by attending pop-up events and working together as a team,” Anderson said. “The feeling we get after events and watching us accomplish little goals along the way is indescribable.
“There really is nothing like the feeling of following your dreams, despite the heartache, sacrifices and different challenges that come our way. I have faith that one day our business will really take off.”
As Anderson prepares for her second year of LSUS classes, she also wants to help one girl go back to school in style. The Savvy Boutique is giving away one pink Frilly Backpack of luxury faux leather (12X6X16 inches) design.
Find The Savvy Boutique on Facebook and follow the instructions to enter the giveaway, which will be awarded on Monday.