If you’ve ever stepped foot inside Freckled Lamb Boutique in Liberty, you’ve been welcomed with a friendly smile, warm conversation, and probably a beverage.
Maybe you walked in looking for an outfit, but you walked out with a sense of community.
Or maybe you got 30 minutes away from regular life. A getaway. Which is all you really wanted anyway.
And that's exactly what inspired Mary Oyler, the powerhouse behind the local and online women’s clothing boutique, to build her business while she was staying home with her son.
“I loved staying home with my son, but I slowly began to yearn for something that made me feel like me - and I knew there were other women that wanted the same thing,” explains Oyler.
So Freckled Lamb Boutique was born in 2018 out of a hunger for community and outfits that boost women’s confidence.
In the beginning, Oyler grew her business online, with Facebook Live sales and an authentic voice. “Get your kids in bed, grab a glass of wine, and let’s shop together from your couch,” was her call-to-action.
So much so, that at the end of 2018, Oyler and her husband decided to jump on a soon-to-be empty space in Liberty’s Historic Downtown District - taking the business from strictly online to also include a brick and mortar shop.
That decision wasn’t easy for the couple. They were struggling with infertility and just weren’t sure it was the right time.
As they talked about it, though, Oyler realized that this may be just what she needed. Because after all, what she created in that first year was about a lot more than the clothes she sold.
It had become an experience. A getaway. A place for community.
So they dove in and haven’t looked back. They moved from that initial 600 square foot space to a bigger, 1000 square foot space within a year.
They learned a lot in that first year as they fought their way through new challenges like hiring the right people and merchandising a small store.
“But I think what we’ve learned more than anything else is the power of community support,” explains Oyler. “Especially now, as we ride the roller coaster of the current crisis right along with our customers, we know we wouldn’t still be here if it wasn't for this community.”
Thankfully, she’s created such a strong community that the customer experience hasn’t stopped, even though they aren’t able to visit the store just yet.
She’s held book clubs, story times and several live sales on Facebook.
“So many women have reached out to me and expressed gratitude for being able to talk to someone, even if it's online, for a little bit,” says Oyler.
And when it’s safe to open back up, you’ll find Mary or one of her wonderful team members (there are four of them now), standing behind the counter, ready to offer a smile, a conversation, a glass of wine, or just a quiet moment for you to get away.
In the meantime, you can follow Freckled Lamb on Facebook (don't miss the next live sale!) or shop the website.