ESCANABA, Mich. (WZMQ) – In honor of Women’s History Month, WZMQ is highlighting female-owned businesses throughout March.
Lisa LaLonde always dreamed of owning her own business. She wanted something that would give her the flexibility to travel and see family, while also giving her an opportunity to use her eye for fashion. After working at a chain department store for a year, she took the leap.
“I was good at the visual part, setting up the walls and things like that,” said LaLonde. “It turned out to be something I wanted to pursue.”
In 2008, Lisa Ann Boutique opened its doors. LaLonde spent her first year at the Delta Plaza Mall, then moved to the boutique’s current location on Ludington Street. Despite initial economic hardships, Lisa Ann Boutique has been going strong for 15 years.
“When I opened in 2008, there was a big crash,” LaLonde explained. “Gas prices were up; everything was really expensive. I was actually lucky to survive, but I did because I think it was really needed in the community.”
LaLonde saw a gap in the women’s fashion marketplace, and she knew her boutique could fill it.
“Everybody was complaining, ‘Everything’s too young or too old,'” she said. “There wasn’t anything in between for us women who don’t want to look old, but we don’t want to look too young. You have to find that there’s a need.”
LaLonde has also found unique ways to build relationships with her customers. During the pandemic shutdowns, LaLonde and her small staff began livestreaming on Facebook, showing off the season’s newest fashions. The livestreams were so successful at engaging with customers that LaLonde has continued doing them to this day.
“The whole next week, people will come in and they will try on what was in the show,” LaLonde said. “If they don’t like that, then they’ll try on something else. It’s definitely been a help.”
LaLonde says she is proud to own a business that provides women with products they cannot find anywhere else. She also loves that she can help the local economy in the process.
“I think we kind of know what women are looking for and we can bring it to the community,” she said. “Then they can stay in town instead of going somewhere else to shop.”
Lisa Ann Boutique is located at 1305 Ludington Street. The shop is open Tuesday – Saturday during the winter months, and it is open Monday – Saturday the rest of the year. To learn more about the boutique or to view past livestreams, visit Lisa Ann Boutique’s Facebook page.