Centerville Washington Township Times "From the Heart," June 2012
Who: Loralei. Or rather, Laurie Smalley, 40, owner of Loralei’s Boutique, who found a knack for business while taking a mental health day. “Three years ago I was a single mother of two young sons working 60 hours per week as a paralegal. One day, I took a much needed mental health day and spent it getting organized and cleaning my closet.” A frequent consigner, Laurie took her clothing to a local consignment shop where the owner mentioned the store was for sale. She jumped at the chance for the freedom that comes from being her own boss. “I was a little nervous at first because my experience with retail was limited so I surrounded myself with an amazing staff of women whose skills complement each other. I also learned from the other amazing women business owners in The Heart of Centerville.”
Laurie and her staff love working with women every day, not only helping them while shopping in the store, but also by working at community and charitable events where they show women how dress for their body type in designer clothing while working with a budget. Loralei’s is also active in promoting a green lifestyle. “Consignment is just another form of recycling and people who consign or shop with us feel good about that. Many items we receive were never, ever worn or were maybe worn just once. We give those clothes a new home.” Loralei’s Boutique caters to a wide variety of clients: fashionistas who retire their wardrobes every season, women who want designer clothing, but don’t want to pay the designer prices, teens needing dresses for prom and homecoming, and women who are in transition (losing weight, changing jobs, having children or down-sizing).
Loralei’s Boutique also helps the community by donating unsold items to women and teens in need. Women who put their clothing on consignment at Loralei’s Boutique know that even items that don’t sell get into the hands of people who truly need and appreciate them. “After 90 days on the Loralei’s floor, clothing, accessories, handbags and shoes are donated to several charitable organizations such as Clothes that Work and For Love of Children and because Loralei’s Boutique chooses only the highest quality items, the donations are truly appreciated because these are top-line, like new designer and brand name clothes.”
Published in Centerville/Washington Twp. Times, June 2012