Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Southern Spotlight- April Showen

In this edition of Southern Spotlight, I introduce to you April Showen. April is a home-grown West Virginia girl and small business owner (among other things). April is a creative and beautiful soul who cares about her community. My goal with this blog has always been to empower women and  help them see the value that they bring to others. I hope you enjoy getting to know April; I certainly have. 

April owns a small business, Two-Eighteen a specialty boutique located in Ripley, West Virginia. Ripley is such a charming little town. Two-Eighteen offers beautiful clothing, personal care items, home fragrance and specialty jewelry. Check out Two-Eighteen here

Describe yourself in five words.

Determined, Compassionate, Loyal, Creative, and Genuine

Describe your typical day.

Every day is unique for me. That is why I give myself the title “Jill of All Trades.” I have many hats that I wear from day-to-day. One day I could be on a construction job, working on a design project, planning an event or writing a contract. But to focus on one of my main jobs “shop girl” at Two Eighteen.

Here is a little peak of what I could be doing: searching line sheets to find the very best pieces for my shop, planning my next window display (my creative outlet), doing a fashion photo shoot for marketing, planning my next event at the shop to entice people to come in, adding product to the website, working on my social media presence, or dressing a client (which is one of my most favorite and rewarding tasks). I do as much as I possibly can to make this business successful with a small budget.

I almost forgot to mention my posh palace of pets. I have a diabetic dog, Cecil Vanderbilt and a deaf dog, Izzy (who I adore), as well as two unruly cats. So when my feet hit the floor in the morning they are they first thing I tend to. We are also very social people and we usually end the evening with a visit or dinner with friends. My husband, Beau and I discuss what we have planned for the next day or week.

Mr. Cecil Vanderbilt

Miss Izzy

You own a successful small business in Ripley, WV. Tell me and my readers about your business.

Two Eighteen, is a small fashion boutique in the small town I grew up in, Ripley, West Virginia. Our small town’s claim to fame is that we hold the “Largest Small Town Fourth of July Celebration.” A lot of people ask me, why Ripley? This small town? I say “Why Not!” The closest on trend fashion is 45 minutes away. Not to mention it has allowed me to figure out what works and doesn’t work on a small scale.

April's shop is simply stunning. Take a look at a few of 
her window displays....

This business has evolved very well and I am approaching three years in November since I opened the door. I have been able to bring fashion that is normally found in a large city like New York City to the fashionistas of West Virginia. With the launch of my webpage, I am able reach customers worldwide. We recently shipped an order to Ireland which was very exciting!

One of the items on my lofty goal plans is to eventually do my own line, something that I need to get started on very soon. Stay tuned for the progress on that!

What advice would you give to a woman who is interested in starting her own small business?

I have a lot of words of advice to a her. First, she will need a strong will. When you own a small business that is dependent on the consumer you can have a lot of ups and downs. I am naturally a person that views her glass as half full and probably should have added optimistic as one of my defining words.

But you have to be optimistic and determined when no one else is. Stay focused on what your ultimate goals are and what you are trying to create. That passion will see you through the hard times. When you are getting input from outsiders, make sure it is from the right people who have your best interests at heart and have an understanding of your personal goals.

I have the most amazing partner in my husband. He helps me in every facet of making sure the business is to my high standards. It helps that he is amazing creatively and can build anything.  

You will have people along the way that remind you why you are doing what you are doing. I recently had my summer intern give me the loveliest note sharing how I inspired her. To be honest, I was having kind of a lousy week and it couldn’t have come at a better time. It’s a reminder that people are watching you and that at any level you can be inspired and be inspiring.

What is your definition of a stylish woman?

A stylish woman knows who she is and what she wants to convey. There is something very beautiful about a woman who knows who she is and what she wants. She takes fashion and makes it her own. She can recognize trends but always knows what is classic.

How would you describe a Southern Belle?

A Southern Belle is a lady with excellent etiquette, put together, and always a superb hostess. She of course has good style and manners.

What is your favorite color? Why?

Well I bounce between black and white for my favorite color. My high school art teacher, Ms. Coomes would cringe hearing this. But for me in my everyday life, black and white are always in style and always classic. I love white because any color you put with it makes it pop and it is so crisp. Black, because one it looks good on me, and two I can wear it year round, the contrast it creates is awesome. I love the quote “she always wears black but has the most colorful mind” i think that really says a lot about me.
What is your favorite holiday? Why?

Christmas is by far my favorite holiday. Celebrating the birth of Christ which is the most important, but secondly, it is such a time of togetherness with family and friends. At this time in my life, I realize how important that is.  I have the most amazing memories of going to my grandma’s house when I was a kid.  We would go early so we could make up a skit to do for the adults that evening. My Mom super spoiled us (we refer to spoiled as overly loved). Every Christmas, she calls and asks what is the one thing we want to have for Christmas to eat. She makes our choice of food and extends that offer to include the in-laws.

I also love decorating the house to make it feel warm and inviting, I am always sad when I take down the decor because it’s like I am removing the Christmas spirit from my house. My husband and I have made it “our thing” to collect Christmas bulbs from all our travels. Every year when we put up the tree, we get to reminisce about where we got them and bring that memory to life again.  Most people you encounter during the Christmas season are so happy and in the Christmas spirit. It’s nice to see people taking time out of their lives to give to others during the season.  Being from West Virginia, I must admit the people here are very generous with others in need year round.

How would you describe your decorating style?

European Chic with a hint of modern. I love taking an antique sofa and giving it life again. I love white walls, with fabulous pieces of art. High ceilings, and gorgeous lighting. I would even say that I have a little bit of eclectic mix in my own personal design. And you never can go wrong with a Venetian Mirror!

When I take on an interior project for a client the first thing I do is get to know them as people and what they love. Your home should be the place that is your serenity, your vacation from the outside world. Create a space with things you love but that is also cohesive. Always choose art that speaks to you, not because it matches your pillows.

If you could change one thing about your life, what would it be and why?

I don’t want to jinx myself, so the thing I would change about my life, is to never lose anyone important in my life to death. It is the only thing in life you cannot change. Which really puts everything into perspective. Everything and anything else you can make what you want of. On a light-hearted note, I would love to travel more, so that is something I am working on all the time. To juggle everything in life but still get out of it what I want. We are all evolving works of art.

For more information about April and her business, Two Eighteen check out the contact information and social media channels below.

Contact Information:
Website to Boutique:  www.two-eighteen.com

Social Media (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Snapchat, Tumbler): @shop218

Physical Address (brick and mortar location):
218 Main Street West
Ripley, WV 25271

Phone: (304) 786-1221

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