Mink Boutique featuring M. Hope Photography!

M. Hope Photography & Dreamy Realist (that’s me) are back in action again to do another collaboration…woo hoo!  This time we decided to mix things up a bit and feature a Crown Point, IN based boutique, Mink!  Meagan, Owner, M. Hope Photography made a stop by this amazing shop to snap a few photos and have a chat with the co-owner of Mink, Kristen.  In Meagan’s own words she absolutely loved the store and enjoyed chatting with Kristen as well.  So I reached out to Kristen for a little virtual interview on how Mink started and what the store is all about!  Check out the gorgeous photos Meagan snapped as well when she visited Mink!
Dreamy Realist (DR): How long you have been in business for?
Kristen (K): Our brick and mortar location has been open since Black Friday of 2015!  My mom has all her life been creative and a crafter when craft shows were the thing!  She joined Antiques on Main in Crown Point when the doors first opened [what now would be 10 years ago, so she was a vendor there for 9 years]  I have been in business since December of 2013, when I relocated back to NWI from New York.  I joined Antiques on Main as a vendor in January of 2014, so I would have just hit my two year anniversary!
DR: Why did you chose Crown Point as your location?
K: My mom chose Crown Point as her desired location years again when she got into AOM because she loved the quaint town and the history within it! Crown Point is where my mom was affiliated with and she brought me along for her ride also being a vendor with AOM.  We chose to open our store in CP because the mass of our audience [customers] are CP affiliates!  Not to mention, there are currently no other trendy, eclectic, and affordable women’s clothing stores on the square, so it was a great niche market to captivate!
DR: Why did you open the store?
K: Running my own boutique had always been a dream of mine since I was very young.  I never knew what I would sell or what the boutique would consist of, it was just a very vague dream!  When I moved back from NY my mom mentioned to me about how I should start writing or blogging, or do something to tune into my [hand me down] creative genes!  So I told her, I had always wanted to sell costume jewelry, I just never had the time to do so.  So mink evolved from costume jewelry!  I started selling costume jewelry online and then became a vendor at Antiques on Main.  I was invited to be a vendor in the Hunt & Gather Pop Up Market held quarterly at the Lake County Fair Grounds.  
My second Pop Up Market, I decided to purchase a scarf, and a kaftan, something easy to buy without having to try on.  The items sold out! I told myself I was on to something, and slowly brought in merchandise at AOM, easy pieces, pieces you could look at, that you would know would fit, because of the inability to try things on.  From this point, I started having trunk shows, this allowed me to buy more structured pieces, items with zippers, pants, form fitting clothes, etc, because of the ability to try merchandise on!  It was also a way to get together with your friends and shop, enjoy a cocktail and not feel the pressure of a purchase- because who better to shop with than your closest friends, who provide honest opinions!  
 
I was now going on my 3rd Pop Up Market, with a full blown selection of 30+ pieces of different styles of merchandise.  I now realized what “my dream” was suppose to be!  Owning my own boutique!  I was avidly looking for spaces, specifically on the Square in Crown Point, because I realized this is where my customer base was, and there was nothing like what I was doing here [yet!]  When I was made aware of The Copper Butterfly closing doors, I came to look at the space twice!  On my second time to visit I wanted to be sure I had my parents and husband with me!  At this point I had told my mom “you’re going to do this with me, right?” [told, did not ask, haha]  And she said “what do you mean, this has always been your dream?!”  I told her that it just wouldn’t work any other way!  And so here we are, in our own store front, team mom and daughter, doing what we love, inspire, and passion for! Because we are two business under 1 roof, we like to call ourselves mink64, not to lose who each of us are, mink and Established 1964!
DR: What style does your shop mainly consist of?
K: Our shop consists of trendy, eclectic, and affordable women’s clothing, repurposed furniture and home goods. We like to say “The Influence of Fashion & Repurposed Home Goods,” thanks to my husband for this witty 1-liner!  We call it a big walk-in closet, to be able to shop for a dress and a dresser at the same time!  We went for an all white look, with 7 beautifully hung chandeliers, a white-washed plywood floor [a must see to understand the vision] and a clean and sleek modern cash wrap.  My vision for the cash wrap was “high end” and pretty, something to be its own piece and not take away from the kewl things happening on the floor!  The building was built in 1881 and use to be a pharmacy, so the cabinetry is original and in the utmost top notch condition, with 2 sliding ladders and endless storage space!  Personally I think anything that you put in this building can be amazing because of the character alone that the building holds! We feel blessed to be apart of such a historic town in such a kick-ass space!
DR: Is your shop having any sales or specials?
K: We are hosting The Pink Piano on February 13th from 10-5.  We invite pianists and the like to come serenade the ones they love, enjoy a little bubbly and cupcakes!  We also can host private events [trunk shows] after hours!  It has been talked about to teach painting classes in the near future, once we get a bit more settled in!  Established 1964 is a carrier for Rethunk Junk Chalk-like Paint as well as Rustic Brands Hardware.
Mink is located on 120 S. Main St. Crown Point, IN. Hours are Monday-Saturday 10 am- 5 pm.  Also, see more amazing photos by Meagan, Owner, M. Hope Photography on her website!
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