Local mom takes leap of faith opening fashion boutique mid-pandemic

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While many businesses closed during lockdown, Carla Knabke opted to open one. Setting up shop in the Winters Collective, she’s ready to take on the challenges of business ownership on top of handling the rigors of being a full-time mom. With years of marketing and graphic design experience under her belt, Knabke was considering going into business herself. It wasn’t until Meika Ogando — the creator of the Winters Collective — offered her a spot in the communal area that Knabke decided to take a leap of faith. “Meika Ogando approached me and offered me a spot, so I started educating myself on how to be a buyer. Eventually I said ‘yes, here we go,’” Knabke explained about how her journey as a business owner started. “I was a little nervous opening because who does that during a pandemic? But, it was perfect timing with the vaccine rollout, and people starting to feel more comfortable going out again.” After filling out all the paperwork and investing some sweat-equity, Knabke opened up Eyelet + Indigo on April 21. This boutique clothing shop is a fresh take on everyday fashion that also gives the people of Winters a chance to keep their money local. “My marketing background gave me confidence, but I have always just enjoyed putting together an outfit. Just finding something that looks cute and fits your body type, and figured I can give that a shot for people in town,” Knabke said talking shop. “Also, people are constantly leaving town and spending money elsewhere for clothes. I was hoping I could change some of those behavior patterns by bringing people more local options.” As if being a business owner during a pandemic wasn’t difficult enough, Knabke also has to contend with the chaos that is being the mother of her five and seven-year-old boys. These responsibilities blend together in a hectic schedule that has no shortage of challenges. “The challenges are endless. Sitting down for more than an hour is almost impossible, but once school starts and there’s more regularity in the schedule for me, I’ll be able to build my website, move more products and offer more,” Knabke said breaking down the obstacles she faces. “Shipping is another challenge, and that’s across the board. I’d place orders and be hit with delay after delay, so I learned quickly and placed my fall order in June. And definitely childcare has been the hardest challenge for a working parent out there.” The fruits of this working mother’s labor are on display – and available for purchase – at the Winters Collective Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. One can also stay uptodate on Eyelet + Indigo’s latest fashions and deals – like the 10 percent off teachers get from Aug. 10 through Aug. 14 – on Instagram by following @eyeletandindigo. At the end of the day, Eyelet + Indigo is a mom-powered, small business with a bright future. With Knabke’s tenacious work ethic and flair for fashion, this boutique will undoubtedly make a perfect fit for Winters.

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