GALION – Amanda Wiggins is heading to Los Angeles soon for a buying trip; and when she returns, there are bound to be new Spring and summer fashions at Flourish Boutique. That trip or the biannual shows she attends literally help keep the boutique “flourishing” in Uptowne Galion.
Flourish Boutique offers fashion clothing, including basic tanks, tees and joggers, as well as vegan leather handbags and belts, costume jewelry and gift ideas like wax melts (with entertaining labels), succulent mugs, cups, and shoes.
In 2O16 she and two partners bought a clothing and accessories business in Uptowne Galion.
“This business was just sitting there, and I got with my two friends and said, ‘What if we took it over’ and they said ‘Yeah, we’re in,’” Wiggins said.
In just a year, they had outgrown the space; and in 2017, they opened the current location at 101 Harding Way East, Galion, under the name Topia Boutique. In 2020, they closed the Topia Boutique name and Wiggins carried on alone. She rebranded and renamed the business Flourish Boutique.
“It seemed like the right time for a rebrand, in the middle of 2020 and we’re all kind of down and depressed and what are we going to do to get out of this situation. I thought, ‘You know what? We can make something out of this.”
She said all the businesses in Uptowne were taking “a major hit” in the midst of the COVID pandemic.
“There was a point in March or April where I thought, ‘I don’t even know if I want to keep doing this anymore. But the rebranding had been in my mind for at least six months by then,” she recalled, “I thought ‘You know what? I feel like this is an opportunity to put Topia to bed.”
The rebrand was a process of discovery. What did she want the business to become?
She wanted something fresh and new. Flourish seemed “right.” Some of her business insight stems from having an Applied Business degree and a graphic arts background.
One of her former partners was her sister, Melissa Cornwell who now lives in Holland, MI.
“My sister goes with my on buying trips,” Wiggins said.
“Truthfully, I don’t really know that much about fashion. But my sister used to dress me when we were in high school. I used to raid her closet all the time because I didn’t know what I was doing. So, when we picked up this business together, I was still taking cues from her,” she recalls. “Now I take cues from the rest of the fashion world, pairing it with what I like. With my design background and knowing the way trends go, that helps me pick things that work with people’s shapes and people’s skin tones and with trends. It’s less about fashion for me that putting together a puzzle,” she said.
The styles in the shop are keeping up with trends and like her idea for Flourish, they’re fresh. They include soft muted tones with lots of tans and taupes. She said she does a lot of research and networking. Twice a year she goes to shows in Las Vegas and the seminars they host.
She said seeing and touching the fabrics and seeing the quality of the items are very important to her selections. Wiggins prefers cotton/poly blends for the way they fit on her customers.
Her target audience is 25 to 45-year-olds.
“I know a lot of them are moms like me,” she said. “I’m the face of the business, so a lot of people are going to see me and come shop with me. Sometimes I go younger; sometimes I go older. I like to carry something for everybody.”
Visit the boutique at 101 Harding Way East or at https://flourish-boutique.com and on Facebook, Instagram and on the app. Much of the clothing is posted on the Flourish site and is available to order for pick up or shipping. Shoppers can also download the app to scroll through all the latest fashions.
But Wiggins loves greeting regular customers by name as they come in to shop.
“I like to have conversations with people. It makes me feel good about what I’m doing here,” she said.
This is part of a series of stories about Uptowne Galion — a community of shops and businesses that make Galion home.