Alyssa Thiel, owner of Parris Chic Boutique, recently opened a brick and mortar storefront in Allentown NJ. She was a guest speaker at TSOS Los Angeles and shared her calligraphy expertise with everyone in attendance. We are so excited to reveal to you a glimpse inside her shop! It is breathtakingly beautiful.
Name: Alyssa Thiel / Age: 22 / Profession: Owner + Creator at Parris Chic Boutique / Rent or Own Studio: Rent / Square Footage: 1,300 sq/f / City, State: Allentown, NJ / Months/Years in Studio: 7 months
You create various beautiful handmade products. Do you have a favorite and why? Our handmade pillows have a special place in my heart. They have stood the test of time and been with me from the very beginning. Our shop looked completely different back when I started it in 2012. I began the business with no inclination that it would ever become a full time job for myself, my husband, and our growing team of amazing employees. That first year the shop was filled with a variety of products and I hadn’t really found my niche. However, the first thing I ever sold was a handmade pillow cover and my dreams for a home decor shop always included those special personalized pillows. There’s nothing like cozy pillow with a fun, loving message to make you feel at home.
How do you choose the words and phrases you print onto your products? I’m inspired by anything and everything around me. Cute quotes on pinterest, phrases my husband and I have said to each other, custom request from our sweet customers, song lyrics, movies, books, the list goes on! Friends are always coming up to me with fun quotes they saw and atomically thought of Parris Chic Boutique.
Your style is so vintage, rustic, and warm. Where did your inspiration come from when styling your storefront/studio? I wanted to reflect PCB and convey a feeling of comfort and coziness that would inspire customers to take a product home and decorate in the same way. The storefront is basically an extension of my home design and décor because the business has always been impacted by my personal taste and style. Anything cozy, neutral, and timeless, with a nod to rustic chic. I love mixing wood tones, linens, creams, whites, greys, and metals for a classic PCB look.
How did you know at such a young age where you wanted to take your business? I get asked this question the most and unfortunately I never have a profound answer with savvy business advice. The entire shop has been one big blessing that I never saw coming. I started Parris Chic Boutique on a whim back in 2012 right after marrying the man of my dreams and moving into our first little apartment together. It was here that I fell in love with any and every type of handmade décor. I was working part time and taking some online classes while crafting away some new furniture and décor for us to enjoy in our new little home. After much encouragement from my hubby, I decided to open a shop and pursue what quickly became a dream of creating what we know today as PCB. What started as a hobby has turned into a blessing of a business in the last few years and I continue to learn something new through it all every day. We are now a husband and wife duo with a faithful team of loving employees and I can’t wait to see what’s next!
You previously sold only online. Why did you decide to make that jump into a storefront? The storefront was a fun surprise that fell in to our lap. Previous to this year, the entire shop was run out of a guest bedroom in our home. Products and boxes over flowed into the hallways and soon the business was taking over the house. After my husband joined me full time on this journey in February, we quickly decided that we needed to run the business outside of our home if we wanted to continue to see it grow. We now have a studio space that has allowed us to expand inventory shelves, hire many new seamstress and employees, and to dream bigger dreams with more space to expand. One of the best parts about our new production space is the bonus room attached to the studio with a small gate separating the two. They are technically two separate rooms, but they flow so nicely together that I knew this space would be absolutely perfect for the first ever PCB retail space. We call it more of a show room as it’s just a little sneak peak to what we sell online, but customers are able to come in, look around, and shop until they drop. We also offer customization right on the spot and we are able to personalize our products for our customers within minutes while they are shopping. After selling for years solely online, it has been so fun to meet customers and watch the expression on their faces as they receive their own custom items. It’s much more rewarding to create for them here in person.
What advice would you give someone who is considering moving to a brick and mortar? Selling brick and mortar is a whole different ball game and I still have a lot to learn! Our show room/retail store is just a small space for me to get my feet wet in the retail world, but it has us dreaming of opening up the real thing one day in a bigger city. My biggest advice? Create an inviting space that represents your brand well. You want to invite customers in with a feeling that reflects the lifestyle of your business. For Parris Chic Boutique, we’ve tried to convey a cozy home atmosphere so that our customers want to buy our products and share that same feeling in their own homes.
Describe your style in one sentence:
My style is a rustic, handmade take on beautiful, meaningful décor that reflects cozy, classic neutrals and all things hand lettered.