June 30, 2016 1:00PM
"You can have anything you want in life if you dress for it." —Edith Head.
Kelly Sigg dressed for her dream, and in the process dressed southeast Kansas. The Iola native opened Audacious Boutique in a historic bank building on the square in Iola, Kansas, in April of 2011.
“In 2011 my daughter who lives in McPherson, KS had a friend who owned an accessory and t-shirt store. Through the power of Facebook my Iola friends saw her store and started ordering from her. She shared this with me and thought if my friends were ordering this, it might be something that’s a good fit for the Iola area,” said Kelly.
And it was a great fit. In the fall of 2015 Sigg opened a second location in Pittsburg, KS, where 7,000+ college students call home 9 months out of the year. Growing and expanding Audacious hasn’t come without it’s challenges. Slow seasons, the rise of online shopping and big city boutiques combined with the long hours and learning social media are a few of the challenges Sigg faced. When Kelly began working with the Kansas Small Business Development Center, the focus was on eCommerce and social media.
“I am always looking for help from anyone who is willing to share the knowledge, experience and ideas to help me grow my business. I have no formal education, just a degree from the school of hard knocks and mistakes. Having help with social media and all it offers to a business was a huge help,” said Sigg. KSBDC Adviser Sydney Anselmi worked with Sigg to open a Shopify Store, which allows Audacious to sell merchandise through Facebook and Pinterest. “For not having a lot of social media experience, Kelly has an amazing, organic following on social media. I didn’t suggest any changes to her style of posting since it obviously is working well for her. Instead, we added the Shopify store to capitalize on that following,” said Anselmi. “Sydney worked with me one-on-one to develop a Shopify store. I love that [the KSBDC] is always available, cares about my success and growth, and are genuine, nice people,” said Sigg.
From this connection, Anselmi and Sigg have formed a relationship that is not only focused on Audacious, but on the growth of Iola as well. “Kelly is incredibly community oriented. She has a pulse on what’s happening in Iola and keeps us informed so we are able to expand our reach and relationships in that area.” Sigg advises those in business to “work with other merchants to create campaigns, events, ideas and promotions. We are not each other’s competition in a small town, but a group with the same goals trying to thrive and keep a small community alive. We want to be a place that people look forward to spending the day.”
What does Sigg believe has been the secret to her success? “Customer service. I feel like we have everything to offer as far as merchandise goes that the city has, but better pricing and we treat our customers as friends and family.”