We had the good fortune of connecting with Monica Elms and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Monica, how have you been affected by Covid-19?
Covid-19 has greatly affected everyone! Everyone’s family, work, relationships, friendships…you name it! As for Posh Appeal Boutique, it has been severely affected! Due to personal family health issues, I had to go strictly online in 2020. And although you would think most people buy online, which they do, they are actually “scrolling through” feed at this time. Not many people are actually buying ’boutique’ clothing. They’re more concerned about paying their mortgages. So I switched some and selling more ‘lounging wear’. I mean, I’m not running around my house in “cutesy, ruffled tops” at the moment! (ha!) I have incorporated into my “online purchase incentive” a FREE MASK for everyone who buys a Posh product online. They’re printed and super cute! I feel like most people will be wearing masks for a few months to come, if not next year, too! It’s been a ‘way’ to get into the Covid-19 Trend, if you will. I had a Fashion Show planned, Cinco de Mayo style. Blew my budget (just a tad) and purchased higher-end Spring and Summer clothing! It was going to be a fabulous and fun time for everyone! But, Covid-10 put a screeching halt to that idea! Now, trying to sell higher end boutique-ish clothing online is really difficult. I will most likely still have a ton of Spring and Summer inventory next year, but hey, it’s OK. As of today, my family is healthy and that’s all I can really ask for! We will keep on pushing through the struggle the best we can! And I will continue to post pictures on our social media outlets and we’ll see how it ends up this year!
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I graduated from Stephen F. Austin in Nacogdoches, Texas, in 1992, with a degree in Rehabilitation. I found a job in the Physical Therapy department at the HCA Medical Plaza Hospital downtown Ft. Worth. Lasted only 2 months – couldn’t take it the hospital scene (I now have TONS of respect for anyone in the medical field). I furthered my education by receiving my certificate at Southwestern Paralegal Institute and worked in Law Firms til 2008. When the stocks crashed that year, our firm scaled down. I had been working on a contract basis part time in order to be with my daughter. So I was one of the first to go. Which was super sad because I had made amazing friends at the firm. But do keep in touch with most all of them! After that, I did some volunteer work at our church during the day and was super active on the PTA Board. (Btw, I loved being on the PTA Board in Elementary School! Best experience!) But something was missing. I had always wanted to do something ‘creative’ with my time and that is how Posh Appeal Boutique got started. I had been asked to help out in the Apparel Mart in Dallas and did that for a few years. Now that was really neat! Met more ladies from my hometown (that showed lines of clothes, too) and that was super fun! Decided after 3 years of that to be on the opposite side of the table and now sell Women’s and Junior’s Apparel online. Starting out was scary, but really fun! Figuring out how/where to order clothes from, what the tags on the clothes were going to look like, what my business cards would say, setting up an Instagram/Facebook Accounts…it was overwhelming but I enjoyed it! I eventually began hosting trunk shows in my home (which was great in itself – getting to meet people), then that led to having friends host trunk shows for Posh Appeal in their homes! I signed up for different craft shows/festivals to help spread the word of Posh Appeal. And although it was a ton of work, I enjoyed it all! I did end up cutting back when my only daughter went off to college. Maybe I got a little depressed, who knows, but wasn’t as “active” with my business as I had been. But, I eventually shook it off and leased a few spaces in the DFW area to sell my items in. And that was a total move! Business was doing great for a while, but eventually, a few of those places closed, and I was back trying to find other locations to move into. And without going into too much detail, my dad had a kidney transplant January 2019, and it’s been a mess since then. Being an only child and having to help being 2.5 hours away takes a lot out of you. And that is why I decided this year Posh Appeal Boutique will be strictly online. It was tough because I truly enjoyed leasing out spaces in the area. But just felt it was in my best interest at this time. Plus, I can always go back if I want to. We’re just going to enjoy this time right now and see where it takes us. I say “we” because my customers/followers are included in this. If it wasn’t for them, Posh Appeal Boutique would not exist! So shout out to all my Posh Peeps!!
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
I leased an area in a cute boutique downtown Grapevine. That area is super cute and love it, especially in the month of December. The Christmas lights are extraordinarily superb! They have dainty tea rooms, hamburger joints, a wonderful winery, a chocolate shop, all kinds of different experiences in downtown Grapevine! It’s super unique!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My daughter, Madi Westbrooke, has a thriving YouTube Channel. She has kept my business ‘afloat’ during this Covid-19 pandemic! Could not be more grateful to her for all she has done for me! Love her to pieces!!