As you walk into Margaret Miller’s new boutique, you’re greeted by the warm glow of handcrafted candles burning alongside trendy earrings, necklaces and water bottles. The walls are lined with vibrant, colorful clothing that she has selected for occasions ranging from formal galas to a casual day at the office.
In January, Miller opened Three Little Birds Boutique on the Carlisle Pike after noticing a lack of sophisticated, stylish shopping in the area. She believes she is filling a void with pieces that can’t be found in big chain stores.
“This is a boutique that was created because I love beautiful clothes and because of the lack of shopping that there is in central Pennsylvania for pieces that were not typical,” she said. “We need pieces that have more quality, not just a one-season use.”
Miller also emphasizes the total shopping experience. From face wipes in the changing room to chilled champagne by the register, she has created a personal, pampering environment.
“I have pieces that you want to go out and feel sexy in and pieces that you want to feel conservative and modest in,” Miller said. “So, when I pull stuff and when I buy, I try not to discriminate by size, style, age and wallet. I have tops that are $38, and I have tops that are $115. My goal is for everyone to try on and find something they love here.”
Before opening her shop, Miller sold clothes as a fashion consultant with the national brand, LuLaRoe. She said that she began working with LuLaRoe to help herself feel beautiful and stylish again after having her third child.
In the process, she discovered that she could reach women all over the country by styling new pieces with what they may already have in their closets, then posting pictures of the results online.
“A lot of women really responded to seeing me in the clothes. I really started building relationships with these women through messaging,” Miller said. “I have all these relationships all over the country, and it obviously builds trust.”
When Miller started her own business, her online relationships paid off. Many clients followed her, which kept her dream afloat during months of unexpected construction and permit delays for her shop, which caused her to miss crucial seasonal shopping days like Black Friday and Small Business Saturday.
“We had our floors and white walls, that was it,” Miller said. “And in one week, my husband, myself [and shop employees], we did everything. My husband built the fitting rooms, he put the shelving up, and we painted all the shelves.”
After assembling the decor and moving a large inventory of clothing from her house to the store, Miller was finally able to open her doors on Jan. 20. Now, between the physical store, its website and social media presence, customers are discovering the boutique almost every day.
The store’s logo logically features its namesake—three little birds, perched atop a diamond. For Miller, this represents the perfect blend of motherhood, family and sophistication.
“I have twins,” she said. “When they were little, I needed a song to sing to them when they slept. I sang ‘Three Little Birds,’ and then more meaning came to it when I had my third child.”
To keep her logo on-brand with her store’s sophisticated sense of style, Miller incorporated a diamond and made it a deep burgundy color.
“This is to remind women that we’re sophisticated here,” she said. “Everything that I’m doing here and the look is high class. But it still stems from that motherhood. I have that connection to the family too.”
Miller is a former teacher at the Milton Hershey School, and she has used that perspective to shape her shop.
“I never want someone to come in here feeling defeated or deflated,” she said. “Sometimes, when I walk into a place and I can’t afford one thing, I feel really bad. I would think of my teacher paycheck, and I couldn’t afford an $80 sweater when I was a teacher in my 20s.”
Now, she’s taken her own life experiences and put them toward creating a welcoming atmosphere that she hopes other women will appreciate.
“The worst fear of mine is someone leaving and feeling guilty about something they bought or regretting something that they bought,” Miller said. “I always want someone to have a positive feeling with the Three Little Birds.”
Three Little Birds Boutique is located at 6455 Carlisle Pike, Mechanicsburg. For more information, visit www.tlbboutique.com or the Facebook page or call 717-309-2348.