A year and a week of success and growth

Sassy Pants celebrates anniversary now offering more than ever

Connecting with customers and meeting their needs is what Lynette TenBrink had in mind when she sat behind her desk at her corporate job. A “people person,” TenBrink felt she was missing her calling, although her job and benefits were all fine. Her friends and family told her she was nuts to consider walking away to open her own store, in Michigan, in a bad economy. She did it anyway.

A year later the success of her shop, Sassy Pants Boutique, proves the single mom of three was right to take the plunge. The shop opened September 1, 2010, expanded to a new larger location in March 2011 and is now able to offer more of her “fun and funky yet sweet and girly” clothing, accessories, gifts and custom décor. Sassy Pants also recently launched their online store, where they are now able to offer many more items such as bedding and children’s furniture.

TenBrink attributes her success with a can-do attitude, a lot of prayer, helpful mentors such as Kim Smith from Kimberly’s Boutique (who she calls her sen sei), and listening to her customers. Originally a strictly “tween“ shop, carrying only sizes 7 to 16, she heard often that her customers wanted smaller sizes, so she added girls’ and toddler clothing to her store. She then heard a need for baby clothing and gifts for both boys and girls, and she now carries that too!

“All sizes are doing so well!” said TenBrink. “I am happy to listen to what my customers’ needs are and I do my best to meet them.”

Recently chatting with moms of her tween shoppers, TenBrink heard how traumatic it can be for young girls when the time comes to buy that first bra. After several conversations with these moms, Sassy Pants began carrying a full line of bras by C.C. bras. They also offer custom bra fittings.

TenBrink said the paperwork end of owning her own business is the most challenging and leaves her bookkeeping up to her accountant. Other aspects of being her own boss are much more enjoyable. She loves finding unique items for the store that can’t be found anywhere else around, and also tries to find items made in the USA.

She has also enjoyed partnering with her fellow merchants and service providers. TenBrink has held fashion shows at Reds on the River and now works with Dan DeWard of Studio D2D—with a second location at the far end of the Sassy Pants location—to offer TuTu Cute photo ops. Also working with Studio D2D, The Edge, Twisted Vine, Sweet Tooth and the Frame & Mat Shop, Sassy Pants offers Posh Parties, where parents provide the guest list and the Posh Party Crew handles the rest.

Sassy Pants has a the most trendsetting back-to-school cool clothes as well as a full line-up of holiday dresses on their way.

“I’m completely thrilled,” said TenBrink of her first year in business.

Sassy Pants is located at 51-1/2 E. Bridge Street and online at sassypantsgirlsboutique.com. The hours are Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. You can also find Sassy Pants on Facebook or call at (616) 433-9750.

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