By Chris Yow, For The Tribune
TRUSSVILLE — When the idea of starting a boutique first began, two things came to mind. One was being in the heart of downtown Trussville and the other was to make sure customers were happy and taken care of when they left.
“Our goal is to personalize attention to customers and help them feel good about themselves; no matter what shape or size they are,” Posey said. “We like to consider ourselves each of our customer’s personal stylists. We pride ourselves on customer service. We know the names of our customers and their style”
That personalization is what sets Tula J apart from big box retailers, and that’s exactly what Posey and the staff wants to do for their customers.
“Our customers tell us what they are looking for, and we just start pulling stuff out, and it’s almost like playing dress up. This is our big closet,” Posey said. “We wanted to be a one-stop shop. We want to be able to get jewelry, shoes, everything all in one place. Women wanted personalized attention, and we can give them that here. We’ve had women come in and put a total outfit together and walk out going to an event.
“We get to help them feel confident about themselves. When we started here, we were able to bring trendy fashion to Trussville so women wouldn’t have to go outside of Trussville to shop.”
Being located in downtown Trussville was incredibly important to Posey, she said. Supporting local businesses and the community is a major part of the store’s identity.
“Being in downtown Trussville was very important. We believe in the growth and revitalization of Trussville, so that was a big part of what we wanted to do,” Posey said. “We’re big on giving back to our community. We love to support local charities, our schools teams/organizations as well as the Trussville City Schools Foundation. That’s one reason we love being a small town boutique. Our customers don’t have to call a corporate office, they can come talk to us directly. We love that. We want our customers to shop local; that’s very important to us.”
“You’re only as good as the people you surround yourself with and the ladies on our staff are very important to our success,” Ashli said. “Melanie Hiott has been with us since we opened, Beth Hoffman came on board a few months after we opened. Katelyn Booker has been here over a year and a half. So, as far as employees — loyalty is great. Which helps tremendously with our customers.”
That knowledge of the customer and personal feel does wonders for the women who come in and shop at the store, but also provides a service to men who may be looking for a gift for their wife.
“Because we know our customers and their style, we can send (husbands) home with something we know their wife will like,” Posey said.
Bringing Tula J to Trussville added a dimension to shopping to the Trussville area that many places lack. Posey knows many women aren’t big on shopping, and that’s where she can bring her expertise and knowledge with her fashion merchandising degree.
“Our biggest reward is putting somebody in something that they didn’t think they could wear or feel good about themselves — making them step out of their comfort zone — and liking it,” Posey said. “We want our customers to get compliments on their outfits, and ultimately feel good about themselves.”
Posey’s goal of being in the heart of downtown Trussville, and bringing a personalized shopping experience to the women of Trussville has clearly been a success.
“We’ve been truly blessed by the support and the friendships we have made. We’ve made lifelong friendships in our four years here, and we hope to make many more.”