Meet Emily, the boss behind Chicago based boutique Havlan & West. Since launching 4 years ago, Emily has taken her business mostly online, focusing on reaching more customers via her FIT service that offers personal styling virtually (see more on that below!).
She's been selling her amazing finds on The Shoppes for some time now and we're so lucky to have this incredible boutique as a partner. Read on to learn more about the woman behind the boutique.
How long have you been in business?
I opened Havlan & West in March 2015
Why did you start Havlan & West?
I had just finished grad school (Museum & Exhibition Studies) and decided I didn’t want to be in that field anymore. Yikes! I knew I wanted to build a business, do something creative, and I’ve always loved fashion. Opening a boutique which carried clothing, jewelry, artwork & home goods seemed like a natural segue.
How would you describe Havlan & West?
I wanted Havlan & West to be a warm, welcoming space where women could find everyday clothing that wouldn’t break the bank.
What's the best part about owning and running your own boutique?
Creative license. I love the whole process of buying, merchandising and then styling. Finding pieces from different designers that work together is fun and exciting for me.
What's the biggest challenge you face as a boutique owner?
Everyone that walks into your boutique has an opinion about what you’re carrying and the price point. You need to filter those opinions and focus on who “your customer” is and what they want.
What Fall trends are you most looking forward to?
We have some AMAZING sweaters and outerwear coming for fall and I am so excited for them to arrive! Pieces that take a new spin on typical prints like plaid, camo and animal.
What do you want people to know about Havlan & West?
We are here to help you feel and look your best! If you can’t make it to one of our pop-ups, we are now bringing personal styling right to your door with the FIT Box. We curate the box to FIT your style, life & budget. There are no fees or minimums and you keep what you love!
What's your favorite piece you have in stock right now?
The Bishop + Young black, floral, midi dress. The colors are rich and the material is beautiful. Perfect for a fall wedding or event!
Any advice for someone considering opening a boutique?
Just do it! There is no way you can fully prepare yourself or learn the in’s and out’s of a boutique prior to opening it. If you’re excited for a challenge, passionate about what services/goods you’re providing and able to learn on the fly and adjust accordingly, you can do it.
Shop a few of our Havlan & West favorites, currently available on The Shoppes!