Owning her own business has always been a dream of one Seymour woman.
Now, it’s how she is able to earn an income and be at home with her 2-year-old daughter.
Beth Hamilton spent nearly eight years working a full-time job at the Indiana Department of Transportation Seymour District office. With a knack for helping people find perfect gifts and a love of shopping, Hamilton got into direct at-home sales opportunities on the side.
She began booking parties and selling several products like Thirty One bags, Avon and Scentsy. She also started to dabble in clothing, especially women’s and children’s leggings, tops and dresses, jewelry and other accessories.
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After giving birth to their daughter, Arielle, in 2014, Beth and her husband, Jason, discussed ways for her to be able to stay home full-time and work. That’s when they came up with the idea to open a boutique.
“I’ve always had a dream of having my own store, and when we initially started this I was just doing it on Facebook,” she said.
The Hamiltons purchased a large shed and put it on their property behind their home in rural Seymour with plans to convert it into a little store.
“It was actually Jason’s idea,” Beth said. “When people would want to pick up things they would have to come into our house, and we just got tired of that.”
Beth named her business, June Bug Boutique, after her daughter, who was born in June.
“She’s my little June Bug, and I do it for her,” Beth said.
The boutique officially opened Dec. 11, 2015, and since then, Beth said business has been good, especially as more people find out about June Bug and because of the holidays.
“When we first started, we didn’t have this much in here,” Beth said. “We added everything to make it look and feel cozy.”
The response from customers has been nothing short of “amazing,” she added.
“It’s went far better than I imagined,” she said. “I think people are attracted to small businesses because they are supporting something more than a big box store. They are helping to support a friend and a family. It’s more personal.”
Customers also don’t have to worry about dealing with big holiday shopping crowds, and Beth said she is happy to help people find gifts for others or help match items together for the perfect look. Gift certificates and gift wrapping also are available, and sometimes she offers special deals where customers can scratch off a coupon to reveal a certain percentage off their purchase.
She offers leggings for women and children in a wide variety of prints, sizes and styles, tops, dresses, Paparazzi jewelry and other specialty jewelry including a wide selection of unique sports-related jewelry for athletes and their moms and some handmade beaded jewelry, hats and scarves, purses, candles and wax melts. She gets most of her merchandise from different wholesalers.
Beth said she brings in items that are affordable but look “classy.” Some jewelry is just $5 or $1 for kids’ pieces. Leggings are $6 for kids, $10 or $12 for women’s and plus sizes.
June Bug Boutique also is one of the few places you can purchase Sew Sassy headbands created by Seymour resident Heather Chase.
“I have customers who want me to find things for them,” she said. “It’s very hard to decide what to carry. If I don’t have what they want or can’t get it exactly, I can usually come pretty close.”
Initially, she was just going to focus on gift items, like candles and jewelry, but demand took her in a different direction.
She didn’t originally have plans to sell clothing, but it’s what people were asking for, she said.
“Everyone wanted leggings and the long tunics,” she said. “So I started ordering and selling more and more clothes.”
June Bug’s online presence also has resulted in sales coming in from across the state, country and even internationally.
“I’ve had to ship leggings to Japan,” she said.
Running a business, taking care of her family and home and keeping in touch with other family members and friends isn’t easy.
“I miss the routine of getting up and going to work at a certain time and then being able to leave work and come home,” she said. “Even if I didn’t have this, being a stay-at-home mom is not what people think it is.”
Although she has set hours for the boutique, customers can shop 24/7 on her website, and she is always responding to personal messages on Facebook and emails, ordering inventory and shipping out merchandise. She also continues to sell 31, Scentsy, Avon, Plunder and Pampered Chef, and in the summer she also sells produce from her family’s farm at the boutique.
In the future, she hopes to be able to expand June Bug with a bigger building to offer a fitting room and more room for customers to shop.
It takes a lot of time and organization to keep everything straight, and she wouldn’t be able to do it without the support and encouragement of her family, friends and customers, she added.
“I’ve been very blessed,” she said.
June Bug Boutique
Owned and operated by Beth Hamilton
Address: 6720 N. County Road 1075E, Seymour
Hours: Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Thursday, noon to 6 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Starting Dec. 1 through Christmas, hours will be extended until 8 p.m.