Boutique Etiquette

It has come to my attention that some people need a lesson in boutique etiquette. I’m not sure why this is, but maybe some people forget that small businesses work extremely hard to survive or thrive, and that there are no gigantic corporate backers keeping us afloat. It’s just us and our little business. It’s not a hobby. It’s our living. And some issues are just a matter of common courtesy.

So here are three gentle reminders, and I make them with love.

Number 1: When a small boutique has a policy that all jewelry is final sale, please don’t buy jewelry, wear it to an event, and then come back trying to return it. Boutiques cannot afford to rent you jewelry. Maybe it works at the big department stores. I don’t know. If you insist on being cheap, try it with them. They can weather those kinds of things better. And if a boutique owner does happen to make an exception, out of the goodness of her heart, and take an item back, just be grateful that she’s bending the rules for you. Do not huff and puff when you get store credit rather than a cash refund. I mean really. This is why exceptions to the rules have become so extremely rare.

As a side note, if you lose something, or you (or your child) breaks something, no store owes you a free replacement. Yes, we’ve had people expect this.

Number 2: Please don’t come in yakking on your cell phone and proceed to look at clothes for an hour, yakking the whole time. It’s rude and it makes everyone around you want to, well, yak.

Number 3: We love your kids. Let it be known, we love kids. We know kids. We have kids. Kids are kids. Kids are curious. Kids like to touch things. Especially sparkly things. Please don’t expect people who are working in a boutique to watch your kids while you shop. To be frank, 99% of the time I’d rather talk to kids than to grown-ups. And 99% of the time, the kids we have the pleasure of seeing are exactly that – a pleasure. But there IS that 1%. And deep down – deep, deep down – you know if your little lovebug is in that 1%. Don’t ignore it. Come out of your denial. It’s ok. Let’s just call your child “spunky” – she’ll grow up to kick some serious ass because she knows what she wants and she knows how to control a room already! But please, please watch her. Engage her. Keep her with you. Honestly, we’ll probably just ply her full of candy anyway, and you’ll be stuck with your raving, sugared-up spunkster for the rest of the afternoon.

And so, with love, I also want to remind you that what goes on in a boutique is not brain surgery, and by that I mean no one is dying as a result of buying this pair of earrings or that. Let’s keep things in perspective and be grateful for all the wonderful things we have in our lives. In all that we do, let’s be kind to others, and we will get kindness in return. If someone acts ugly toward us, let’s remember that that person is undoubtedly struggling with something and is probably doing her best in that moment. We can’t control other people, but we can choose how WE behave. Let’s put our best faces forward, shall we? xoxo!

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