Mary Burke is the Owner of Children’s Boutique Bluebird & me (bluebirdandme.com)
She has 3 children ranging in age from 22 to 7- two daughters and one son. Mary is from Derry.
I asked Mary about her career background and she told me, “I trained as a teacher originally and knew that I wanted a change for several years. I took a long time to consider what I wanted to achieve and what I was suited to before deciding in what type of shop I would open.
Bluebird & me is the only childrens wear boutique in Derry. We bring traditional values of customer service and gift wrapping back for a more modern time. In today’s world customer service means personal shopping via snapchat, Instagram and messenger. It means delivering gift boxed presents. Any way we can possibly help and make the experience special, we will.”
I asked Mary about what she found hardest about opening and running a shop and she confided, “On opening I though the biggest struggle would be setting up my own website and learning the digital side of things. However it has been getting letting people know of my business and service and then getting them over the door of the boutique. I had no idea how difficult this was. Once people come in to us they generally end up customers so I know I am on the right track.
I would say consider your market- understand the need you are trying to meet and adjust your idea accordingly. I am still adjusting the offering in the boutique. Do not rush into anything- write things down on paper- this is a great way of getting clarity. Ask everyone for advice- don’t be afraid of this- it pays to talk. Finally trust your gut- it will always know if you are right- listen to it carefully.”
I asked Mary how she relaxes in her spare time, and she said, “Before having a business my favourite thing to do to relax (aside from family time) was to have a long bath. However now it’s just getting outside on a rain free day and feeling the elements.”
Mary is proud of her shop and is especially proud that she got the shop and website all up and running with stock in two weeks after deciding to go for it. She’s proud that it is a place children love to be.
(Handle on fb/snap/insta is @bluebirdandme)