There are over 7,500 active members and 55,000 stores in The Boutique Hub network, so this is clearly an important player in the specialty shop world. The organization, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary, is targeted at fashion boutiques – but offers tools and programs that could be of use to many different types of independent retailers.

Founder Ashley Alderson describes herself as “a wife, mother, motivational speaker, big thinker, mold breaker, entrepreneur, advocate, optimist, coach, cook, dragon slayer and jewelry lover.” She moved to the La Crosse, Wisconsin area from rural North Dakota, where she was Miss Rodeo America and worked as the director of economic development for the region. It was here that she got the idea to create her own company to “help boutique owners and the boutique ecosystem of brands, designers, and influencers find success in collaboration, education and marketing.”

What does The Boutique Hub do? It is in part a social network (the word sisterhood comes to mind) of shop owners and their employees – mostly women – who come together for inspiration and support.  It’s also a platform to connect stores to their vendors through Hubventory, a B2B wholesale site for member stores. is its consumer-facing platform to help shopper discover boutiques they will love.

There are special events for members, including Market Meetups and an annual Boutique Summit in June, and a free newsletter, blog and podcast.  There is also an annual #BoutiqueBoss Planner, with the next edition going on sale in October.

When I asked Ashley if there was anything she’d like me to share about The Boutique Hub, she mentioned the nationwide event called Pink Friday that they coordinate in November, one week before Black Friday.  She said, “our goal with Pink Friday is for boutiques and specialty retailers to tell their story, collaborate with local media, and to share the importance of SHOPPING SMALL FIRST – before Black Friday or Small Business Saturday.  Many stores host open houses at that time anyway, so it’s a really nice event for collaborating with your community and a community of retailers nationwide on the same day.”  The Boutique Hub provides a sign up, links to signage, social media graphics, press releases on their Best Small Event for Retailers page.

I admire all that this energetic group has accomplished in ten years, and encourage you to take some time to explore their website and social media posts.

Happy Retailing,

Carol “Orange” Schroeder

Please note that there will not be a Specialty Shop Retailing blog post on Labor Day