Sustainable Goods, Locally Made: Shop Smal Boutique

By Toby Ethington on July 3, 2024

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Camp Springs, MD – Smal Boutique is a business dedicated to selling locally crafted, reasonably priced, sustainable products, which will be opening on June 29th. The business was founded by its CEO, LyAna Melton (affectionately known as Lee). The name Smal Boutique is derived from her middle name, Malberine, which she used as her artist tag throughout her life. Now simplified to “smal,” the name reflects her lifelong passion for art and her entrepreneurial spirit.

A Mission Rooted in Sustainability and Community

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Smal Boutique offers sustainable goods made locally within the community at affordable prices. Lee promotes local craftspeople and businesses through pop-up markets and other temporary locations. Her mission is twofold: to provide affordable sustainable goods and to boost the local economy.

Serving the Washington, DC Area

Currently based in Camp Springs, Maryland, Smal Boutique serves the Washington, DC area including Maryland and Virginia. Lee’s vision extends beyond these borders as she plans to hold markets all over the country.

Targeting Environmentally Conscious Consumers and Innovative Individuals

Smal Boutique’s target customers are individuals who support sustainable living but may not have the funds to pay a premium for it. This includes mothers, people aged thirty and up, and elder generations who are all conscious of their impact on the planet. Lee also aims to attract innovators seeking opportunities for exposure.

From School Fair to Growing Business

Smal Boutique started two years ago thanks to inspiration found during the annual business fair held at her daughter’s school. Since then, Lee has traded in various markets for fun while working to get her business up and running.

A Local and Global Focus

What sets Smal Boutique apart from competitors is its focus on supporting the local economy and the planet. Unlike large corporations, Smal Boutique hosts community events and live demonstrations, and it also stays connected with local artists and new innovations.

What Customers Are Saying

Smal Boutique’s focus on local, sustainable goods has really resonated with people, as shown by customers’ praise for the products. Here are some highlights:

  • “I bought the perfect statement earrings for date night at an awesome price!” – Olivia Q.
  • “The hair products I bought have made my hair SPROUT! I haven’t seen growth like this in years!” – Michelle T.
  • “I love my custom charms. They’re handmade, which makes them feel special. Just for me!” – Lynora M.
  • “The products are great quality, you can feel the richness of the natural ingredients and the scents are really great!” – Danielle M.

Personal Journey to Entrepreneurship

Lee’s journey into business is deeply personal. As an artist with a large collection of art, she sought ways to put her creativity to use. Her activism, work with her daughter’s school on a community garden, and collaborations with local youth in STEM projects fueled her entrepreneurial spirit. Affordable handmade products became her path for doing good for the community.

Community Engagement and Family Life

As a single mother to a daughter who will turn nine in October, Lee balances her business with her personal life. Her grandmother’s passing in 2018 and her family’s support afterwards motivated her to start Smal Boutique. Lee also taught STEM at a local school and has even flown a plane with the Civil Air Patrol, experiences that brought a smile to her face.

Supporting Local and Sustainable Living

Lee advises customers to look for sustainable products and reuse what they have. She shares practical tips like using water bottles in the garden and repurposing cardboard boxes for storage or crafts. She encourages people to shop small, highlighting the negotiation room you have with small businesses.

Future Plans and Community Impact

Smal Boutique is growing slowly, with plans to hire by the end of summer. Lee is connecting with local artists interested in joining her venture. While laying the foundation for the business, she learned the importance of structure and readiness in business, leveraging her background in customer service and marketing to prepare Smal Boutique for success.

Community Initiatives and Volunteer Work

Lee is starting to work with Restoring Rainbows, an organization that restores used school supplies. She also works with RIMS community garden, which supports local food banks with fresh produce. Additionally, she is involved with the Maryland Hub and is working to keep Camp Springs a beautiful, family-oriented community.

Conclusion

Smal Boutique aims to inspire customers to make sustainable choices and support the local community. Lee’s journey from an artist to an entrepreneur is a testament to her dedication to creating a healthier planet for future generations.

Website: SmalBoutique.odoo.com

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