You never want to let a good opportunity go to waste. It’s a good practice in life, just as it is in business.
Almost three years ago, Kate Moore and Aimee Brown launched their first business, This Little Piggy, a children’s clothing boutique targeting the niche market of trendy clothing for youngsters living in Saline County.
That business began online. But as popularity grew, the two women and their husbands collectively decided it was time to open a physical location.
“The building we found just sort of fell in our laps,” Kate said.
That building was the historic Bush Building in the heart of downtown Benton. Known as the “Iron Palace” for its iron storefront, it had been the home to many businesses since its construction in the 1880’s.
And that’s where things got interesting for Kate and Aimee, who intended to open and focus on their original business venture, This Little Piggy. “In addition to opening our store for children’s apparel, we ended up inheriting a women’s clothing store (formerly McClain & Co.), which was also open in the building,” Aimee said.
They decided to keep the women’s boutique, and within two months, the partners changed that store’s name to SoCo South + CoCo (named for their children) and operate SoCo and Piggy to complement one another.
“We never dreamt of having a women’s store,” Kate said. “Our idea was all about kids’ clothing, and this turned out to be a great opportunity. We were nervous at first since this wasn’t the plan, but I think it’s worked out well for us and our customers.”
Since the previous owner only used half of the Bush Building for the existing women’s store and Kate and Aimee intended to use the other half for their store, the question became, why not combine the two and market to both children and their families?
“When you look at it from the street, it looks like two separate stores, each with its own entrance,” Kate said. “After you come in, though, we’ve set things up to allow customers to pass through from one store to the other. We have some remodeling ideas we want to put in place, but it’s time consuming, and with COVID, we have to be patient.”
Kate and Aimee currently work with two buyers who help with clothing selections to coordinate with their children’s products. “Working with them has been amazing,” Kate said. “We couldn’t have asked for two better people to be in business with.”
As projected, Kate and Aimee said the two boutiques play well off one another, with families coming in to shop for everyone in one location.
“One of the perks to having the locations side-by-side, is that a mother may come in to shop for a child’s outfit for family pictures,” Aimee said. “While here, she’ll be able to find a matching outfit for herself. It wasn’t something we necessarily planned, and it works out great.”
SoCo has continued growing consistently since moving into the space in 2018. The boutique offers brands like Pistola Jeans, Dolce Vita and Steve Madden, along with skin care products from Capri Blue.
SoCo Boutique is located at 117 South St. in downtown Benton. Reach them at 501.337.3027, or visit them online at www.shopthislittlepiggy.com.