From Corporate World to Chic Boutique: Terri Baird's Inspiring Journey
21 Sep 2023
In the heart of Ottumwa, Iowa, the epitome of style and community spirit radiates through My Chic Boutique and Ottumwa Tuxedo Rental, all thanks to the dedication and vision of Terri Baird. Her journey from a corporate manager and programmer to becoming a beloved local business owner is an inspiring tale of passion and perseverance.
My Chic Boutique's Beginnings
Terri began her entrepreneurial journey in September 2012 when she founded My Chic Boutique. Initially located on North Court in Ottumwa, the boutique quickly gained popularity. In January 2017, she relocated to 322 E. Main Street, solidifying her presence as a cornerstone of the Ottumwa shopping scene.
My Chic Boutique boasts a spacious 3,300 square feet of retail space and an impressive roster of over 1,200 consignors. Terri's store offers a carefully curated selection of consigned name-brand, gently used, and new clothing. From clothing and shoes to jewelry, accessories, handbags, formal wear, and even decorative household items, My Chic Boutique is a one-stop shop for the fashion-conscious women of Ottumwa.
Not one to rest on her laurels, Terri saw an unmet need in Wapello County and, in 2019, expanded her business to include Ottumwa Tuxedo Rental, filling the gap for tuxedo rental services in the area.
Community Collaboration for Economic Growth
Terri is not just a business owner but a vital part of Ottumwa's economic development. She has been a dedicated Main Street Ottumwa Economic Development Promotions Committee member for six years. Through this role, she has played a significant role in organizing events that promote Downtown Ottumwa, creating opportunities for local businesses to thrive.
Terri and her team have orchestrated various successful events, including Ladies Night Out, Bizarre Bazaar, Holiday Open Houses, Witch Way to Main, Queen of the Green, Small Business Saturday, and more. These events bring foot traffic to the area and foster community among businesses, leading to collective growth and prosperity.
Within her store, Terri maintains a warm and welcoming atmosphere. Her positive and friendly attitude towards all customers, coupled with her genuine love for people, has earned her a special place in the hearts of Ottumwa residents.
Supporting Local Artisans and Sustainable Fashion
My Chic Boutique's commitment to enhancing Ottumwa's economic development extends to its support for local artisans and designers. Terri provides a platform for over 1,200 consignors in Southern Iowa, allowing them to recycle their clothing and giving them a fair and friendly outlet. This not only promotes sustainable fashion but also supports local talent.
Awards and Recognition
Terri's dedication and the success of My Chic Boutique have not gone unnoticed. The boutique has received numerous awards in The Best in Southern Iowa category, including Best Consignment Store (eight years in a row), Best Tuxedo Rental (five years in a row), #1 Women's Wear (five years in a row), #1 Boutique (six years in a row), and #1 Place to Find a Bargain (seven years in a row). In 2022, My Chic Boutique also received the prestigious Best Window Display award.
A Journey of Love and Preparation
Terri's journey from corporate management and programming to owning My Chic Boutique and Ottumwa Tuxedo Rental has been fulfilling. Her 13-year experience as a Kmart Corp manager and nine years as a Director of Operations for a manufacturing company, combined with her degree in Computers in Programming, laid the foundation for her current success. However, her love for her current role as a local business owner is what truly sets her apart.
Terri Baird's story is a testament to the power of following one's passion and embracing the opportunities that come one's way. Her commitment to Ottumwa's economic growth, support for local artisans, and dedication to providing top-notch fashion options have made My Chic Boutique and Ottumwa Tuxedo Rental indispensable fixtures in the community. Terri's success inspires all aspiring entrepreneurs to pursue their dreams with unwavering determination and a heart full of love for their craft and community.