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 […]
photos courtesy of Trudy Holtz Photography Sassy Pants Boutique owner Lynette TenBrink likes working with other downtown shop owners and a recent fashionshow she put on featuring her clothing and accessory items was a good example of team spirit. Held at Reds on the River with desserts catered by the same, the Sassy Pants fashion show featured flowers by Flower Garden Floral and a fruit tray from Twisted Vine. Christine Gualt from A Charmed Life Salon donated finger and toenail painting to make the day a luxurious one, Polly VonEschen supplied her delicious truffles and Sweet Tooth provided complimentary bags of caramel corn for visitors as they left. “It was just wonderful,” TenBrink said of the first-time event for the boutique. Her business has been booming since she opened in downtown Rockford and the shop recently relocated to a roomier space at 51-1/2 E. Bridge Street. Models ranged in age from two months to 12 years in age and in addition to plenty of cool outfits and classy combinations of clothes, visitors were entered into drawings for prizes and gift certificates. “It was sold out before the event. Everything went so well I couldn’t be more thrilled,” TenBrink said. The store features fun and funky yet sweet and girly clothing from infant through size 16 as well as a line of baby gifts. The boutique can be visited online at sassypantsgirlsgoutique.com or on facebook.
Sassy Pants outgrows former location Plenty of people warned her not to do it. Lynette TenBrink had a good job with great benefits, but wasn’t happy working in the medical administration field, so she quit to realize her dream of owning a business. After just six months, the business she opened in downtown Rockford, Sassy Pants Boutique, was going so well she needed more space. “I have a background in interior design and am a people person. I felt I wasn’t using my God-given talents sitting behind a desk,” TenBrink said. Sassy Pants—offering clothing, accessories, gifts and custom décor—has expanded its inventory to now include infant and toddler clothing. TenBrink has finished moving Sassy Pants from the former location at 49-1/2 E. Bridge Street to 51-1/2 E. Bridge Street in the same building. There she has more space to show off the “fun and funky yet sweet and girly” clothing and accessories she finds. TenBrink believes her success, in part, is the result of carrying items shoppers can’t find anywhere else in Rockford or anywhere in West Michigan for that matter. She also tries to stock goods made right here in the United States. The list of vendors with “Made in the USA” products is lengthy and includes Betsy Bee, Blink, Area Code 407, Girl Friends, Nano, Weboos Shoes, Sweet Petunia, Twirly Girl, Purple Pixies, Libertalia, Gypsy Daisy, and many more. TenBrink has always wanted to own a business in downtown Rockford. She is thrilled by the many events and activities here as well as the quality of shopping that Rockford offers. “The support of the other businesses in downtown Rockford has been amazing during my first six months,” TenBrink said. She also appreciates the relationships she has developed with her customers. “When I opened, Sassy Pants was strictly a ‘tween’ shop,” TenBrink said. “I had so many requests to offer smaller sizes that I added 4 to 6X.” TenBrink said she then had requests to go even smaller with her sizes, so she has recently added infant and toddler to the mix. The boutique also now carries baby gifts for both genders. “People call us a young Jade,” said TenBrink, “which is a huge compliment to me, considering the success Julie Cronkright has had.” […]