Mikayla can recall the moment like it was yesterday. She was sitting in class at the University of Kentucky with her laptop open when she saw something on Pinterest that made her freeze. It was a Pin of a mobile clothing store– a truck filled with racks of clothing and space inside for customers to shop.
In a life-changing instant, everything became clear. Mikayla realized she had to open such a store. Now. Nevermind that she was only 20 and still an undergrad.
“I wanted it to happen immediately,” she recalled.
As the daughter of two entrepreneurs, Mikayla always knew she wanted to start her own business someday. She figured it would be a traditional clothing shop somewhere in her hometown of Charleston, West Virginia.
But when Mikayla saw the idea for the mobile boutique on Pinterest, she realized this was how she was going to do it.
“I decided that this was exactly what I wanted and what West Virginia needed and decided to run with the idea,” she said. Mikayla decided to call her business Ooh-La-Lucy.
“Pinterest is my only resource for internal, external ideas, logistics ideas, business ideas. It kind of made the whole thing come to life whether that was the backend of writing my business plan to marketing to how to get my social media up and running.”
After sharing the plan with her folks, Mikayla bought a truck with money she had saved from years of babysitting. Her dad remodeled the inside. Next there was inventory to purchase and a business plan to create. Throughout the entire journey, Mikayla turned to Pinterest for help and inspiration.
“Every single idea, all the build-outs, all of the technical parts of the building it out and figuring how things work all came from Pinterest,” she said.
Ooh-La-Lucy opened its doors last June filled with clothing selected “to make you feel good without being over the top.” Like every new business owner, Mikayla was nervous. Luckily, she didn’t have to worry for long.
“People loved it,” she said. In her first month, she doubled her projected sales.
A few months later, Mikayla was in downtown Charleston when she saw a “for rent” sign on a storefront. “That’s my store,” she told her mom. And it was. Mikayla opened a brick and mortar Ooh-la-Lucy in the location 17 days later.
Some days, Mikayla is still reeling from all the momentum that began that day in class. “I originally planned to probably work for someone else after school and follow a more traditional career path,” she said. “After seeing that Pin, I started my business, which has now grown and become something that will sustain me and my lifestyle and continue to grow.”