For the next stop on the Southern Flair Boutique Tour, we’re checking out Court & Layne Boutique!
This modern & edgy women’s boutique is located in Gonzales, Louisiana. And today it’s owner and founder April Prejean is sharing how Court & Layne came about, plus what she’s learned and loved about running a boutique in the past two years.
How and when did you start Court & Layne?
April: Court & Layne was created on a whim! August 19, 2014, my husband and I were going out to eat at Casa Maria in Gonzales. The shopping center was packed, of course, so we had to park in the very back and walk. Little did I know that walk would change my life! While walking up, we passed an empty suite and jokingly I said that would be a great place for my future boutique. While eating dinner we asked our waitress who owned the location, and minutes later the owner came out, spoke with us and the next day we had the keys! I have always had a love for clothes and shoes. I thought it would be an amazing opportunity to own my own store and create a place where I could really express myself and add a little spice to Gonzales. I didn’t realize it would all happen so fast. I am grateful it did because it left little time to really think it through and back out.
Where did the name Court & Layne come from?
April: The name is pretty special to me. I spent countless hours trying to find a name that fit my personality and couldn’t find anything! One day I was watching my only two nieces, who are polar opposites, play and it just came to me! If anything, in this world had my personality it would be them! Courtney and Brylee Layne are my only two nieces on my side of the family. Both so tiny but full of life and personality. They were five and seven at the time. One is a pure diva and the other is a pure country girl. So you get the best of both worlds when you mesh them together! Court & Layne shows diversity and is a mix of all styles.
What does a typical day look like for you running your own boutique?
April: My day starts around 8 a.m. and ends around midnight most nights! I spend the first part of my morning at my house calling vendors and answering emails. I get to my store around 12 or 1 p.m. and hit the ground running. I spend most of my day helping customers. In between helping customers, we unpack new arrivals and pack up shipments to mail out. I spend hours shopping, which is probably the most stressful part of the job. I put in a lot of hours each day to make sure I am making the right decisions and bringing my customers the very best. But when you love what you do, it’s never considered work!
What makes Court & Layne unique?
April: I really try to go above and beyond for my customers. The ladies at Court & Layne offer one-on-one customer service from the time you walk into the door until the time you walk out. We focus on full outfit styling, so when our customers walk out the door they can go home and relax instead of worrying about minor details. That’s our job! Court & Layne’s style is also very versatile. We try to make it as easy as possible for our customers. We show them how to dress an outfit up for a night out or how to dress down to carry their weekend style into the work week. Personal styling and customer service are what make Court & Layne unique.
What is your favorite summer trend we can currently find in Court & Layne? And how would you style it?
April: My favorite summer trend is off-the-shoulder everything and chokers. The choker is a must-have for summer! I love to pair a choker with an off-the-shoulder top and flare jeans. Also paired with shorts and lace-up sandals. The choker is a great layering piece and we are all about layering!
What has been the most challenging part of running your own boutique?
April: The most challenging part of running my store has been trying to find a balance between my life and my store. Also, shopping for the store is probably the most stressful part of my job. I literally put in so many hours a day because I want it to be the best that it can. I had no idea what I was walking into when I decided to open a boutique. There is so much that goes into it and I have had to learn everything by trial and error.
What is your favorite part of running a boutique?
April: My favorite part is the adventure it takes you on! Each day brings something or someone new into your life. I have met so many amazing people and gained new friends. The entire experience has made all of the long hours and sleepless nights work it. I truly love what I do!
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