How Hello Beautiful Boutique helps women feel beautiful, inside and out.
“Ok, let’s talk. But first let me say hello to everyone.” Judy Burks is the epitome of “boutique”. Having just arrived to meet with me, I assumed she needed to check in with her employees. Judy then proceeded to greet everyone in the little shop on West Davis Street. That small act could just about sum up who Judy is and the heart behind her thriving store, Hello Beautiful Boutique. I would say it made quite a first impression, but my interaction with Judy wasn’t actually my first impression.
Walking through the front doors of Hello Beautiful Boutique is a bit like passing through a portal into another world. Beautiful chandeliers hang throughout the store and the smell of warm vanilla floats in the soft-lit atmosphere. Fashionable clothes and interesting items are spread throughout the store with an invitation to spark curiosity and perhaps joy. A l – though small and full, nothing about the store feels crowded.
Robin, the store manager, is setting up a display of llama slippers toward the front and immediately greeted me with a smile. It didn’t take long for Robin to light up as she began to tell me the history of the store. Even though she has only been with Judy for 12 years, starting back when it was still called Silks & Twigs, she reflected on the original story, which began 38 years ago. Robin’s love for Hello Beautiful Boutique and for Judy Burks was evident from the start. “ It never feels like work when it’s something you love to do.” She says.
“Ribbon!” Judy calls out to Robin as we walk back out into the main store “Bring me one of the Save the Girl bags to show Brian.” The nickname made me smile, emphasizing that Judy’s love for practical fashion and jewelry is only eclipsed by her love for people. To be honest, it didn’t take more than a few minutes to realize that Judy and her staff are much more like family than anything else. Sitting in her office in the back of the shop, she joyfully discusses the college degrees that her employees are working toward and the passions they are pursuing. She knows that not all of them will be with her forever and she’s perfectly happy to pour into their lives while they’re with her and empower them to follow their dreams. Judy is much more a mentor than a boss. Everyone in the shop feels it. “ I’ve always believed that a store is only as successful as the people you surround yourself with and I have the best staff in the world”.
It’s not just the people who work and shop in the store that Hello Beautiful nurtures. Judy has a passion for giving back. “The big, big thing that we are so blessed to be a part of is Faith Fighting Cancer,” Judy passionately brings up. It’s an organization that they’ve partnered with for the past few years and again this year by donating 20% of their total sales on September 12, 2020. Judy adds what makes it so special to her: “They are run entirely by volunteers and the money stays in Montgomery County.”
Hello Beautiful also supports charities for animals, veterans, and several others in and around Montgomery County. One part classy chic and another part hospitality, Hello Beautiful Boutique offers a unique and desirable collection of fashionable, yet affordable apparel, unique gifts, jewelry and accessories. Although it may sound like I’m describing a typical boutique gift shop, that description would fall far short of accurately depicting this place. Everything is intentional, as if the regulars who shop in the store had their say in what goes in it. Such is another reflection of Judy Burks, the store’s long-time owner, and her intimate knowledge of the designers and makers of every piece of clothing and every accessory in her store.
I asked Judy what made her want to greet everyone in her store before doing any other business. “Enthusiasm with our customers is what we offer them. Our employees and customers leave their problems at the door. When they walk in our store, it’s sunshine and roses. Nobody likes negativity, especially now.” Judy talks through a smile.
Hello Beautiful Boutique is centered around stylish clothing, jewelry and accessories, but the overarching vision of the store is centered around beautifying the lives of the people that come through the door. For instance, at one point, Judy explains that they are not a bookstore, but that she found two special books that she had to offer. One is for someone graduating, which she plans to give to her grandson next year, and the other is about the tooth fairy. Such is the case throughout the store. Yes it has many of the same types of items that you’d find in most boutique stores, but it’s also full of heartfelt exceptions hidden throughout the shop, inviting you to discover them as though part of a chic scavenger hunt.
Jewelry by Kendra Scott, bags by Makeup Junkie Bags, clothing by Clara Sun Woo – Judy and Robin, who go to 5 different trade shows a year to discover new designers and trends, know what their customers really want. They make a point to stay on the forefront of innovation and design. While style and name brands are desired attributes, Hello Beautiful Boutique makes a point to also stay practical. Fashionable doesn’t have to be expensive. Judy emphasizes that they offer something at every price point.
Perhaps even more important is the focus on local artisans and American-made products. I asked Judy, “What is your vision when it comes to treating customers? What do you want them to know?” She smiles, “When they walk out the door, they say ‘I am definitely coming back. And they do…and they bring a friend.” She continues. “We know that there are so many places that they can go shop, and that we are honored that they would choose our store to come shop.”
Of course, Judy talks about all the success over the years not from an “I” point of view, but always from a “we” perspective. Her store and all her success she attributes not to her own efforts, but made possible by the steadfast love and support of her husband of 57 years, Kenneth.
Come experience what a boutique is meant to be (and ask to see one of the new “Sash” bags…wow) at Hello Beautiful Boutique at 3915 W. Davis, Suite 230 in Conroe, TX. Check them out online at www.hellobeautifulboutique.com or call “Ribbon” (Robin) at Hello Beautiful at (936) 756-3700.