25-year-old opening trendy boutique in Luling
Hahnville graduate makes splash with PLUR
Like those people, 2001 Hahnville graduate Jenny Burch is emulating that path. But unlike the majority, she plans to start out at the top.
Burch is set to open her own store, which is called PLUR, in the St. Charles Plaza. That name stands for peace, love, unity and respect. She hopes the store’s opening will give her all those things.
“About two years ago, I thought about opening up my own store, but it didn’t seem feasible at the time,” Burch said. “Last summer, I started doing a lot of research and I looked up all the vendors and started going around to other boutiques to look at their brands.”
The result of that year of work is a boutique that Burch says will be unlike any in the area. Her store will sell clothes, shoes, purses, jewelry and hats and will cater to both women and men from teens to adults. Some of her lines include vintage Havanna/Ocean Drive, Hot Kiss, Lucca, Junk Food, Lucy Love, Crooked Monkey, Blue Gem and Big Buddah. And of course, she will have a large selection of Fleur de Lis tops.
“We will have cute, neat stuff that you won’t find at the mall,” Burch said. “I started out wanting to target anywhere from the high school level to the more mature women.
“Now, women's styles are more trendy, and she wants to look good in what she’s wearing and know that she is still in style. She doesn’t want to feel like she has to dress a certain way because of her age.”
Though the store is set to open up on March 1, it hasn’t been an easy ride. Burch instead says it’s been like being on a rollercoaster. She credits a business course she took in college with helping her stay organized while allowing her to get her name out to the public.
But, like for anyone opening up a business, the process has been difficult.
“I looked at the stuff I was buying at boutiques and got the phone number and contact information for the vendors,” Burch said. “That took a lot of time because I would call New York, then I would call Los Angeles and I would be connected to four different people before I finally got the right vendor.”
While it may seem odd that someone so young is opening up a clothing store, the business is actually in Burch’s blood.
Her grandfather, Russ Giammanco, had a men’s store called Mr. G’s, and the past site was only a couple of doors down from where her new store is set to stand. Because of that family connection, Burch is glad to be able to stay in the parish and supply a much needed commodity.
“I’m from here and I think we need something like this,” Burch said. “I would like to stay close to home and I would like to make this my career. Just being close to home and knowing everybody here is a huge benefit to opening up a business in the parish.”
Plus, Burch has a knack for building the long relationships that can sustain a local business.
“I’m a pretty personable person because I was a bartender for seven years,” Burch said. “I like to talk to people and I know that I need to have a nice environment for my customers. There will be a sofa next to the dressing room and I just want people to feel at home the second they walk in.”
Since Burch knows not everybody who will frequent her store is from the area, she has also set up a website at plurboutique.com that will let people from all over order select merchandise from her store.
“I plan on using the internet as an extra tool to sell,” Burch said. “If someone comes in, but they aren’t from the area, they know they can order what they like online and have it shipped to them so they don’t have to drive to pick it up.”
Burch is also putting a booth in the upcoming March 7th and 8th business fair at Hahnville High School and will offer 15 percent off coupons for her grand opening. There will also be additional 10 percent off coupons that can be used until July 31. She also has plans to have preview parties to let her customers get an early look at the spring and fall lines.
Before all that though, Burch has to get the store open.
“I’m ready for it to open, but I’m nervous one day and happy the next,” Burch said. “Overall though, I am just extremely excited and I can’t wait to see the finished project. I don’t even know who my customers are going to be yet, but when they start walking in the door, I’ll start buying to cater to them.”
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