Rachel Malloy, Bunky Boutique, The Story ExchangeYour Name: Rachel Malloy

Business Name: Bunky Boutique, an apparel and jewelry boutique

Type of Business: Clothing & Accessories

Business Location: Phoenix, Arizona, United States

Website   www.bunkyboutique.com
Twitter   @bunkyboutique
Facebook   www.facebook.com/bunkyboutique
Pinterest   http://pinterest.com/bunkyboutique/

Reason for starting
I opened Bunky Boutique in 2007 because I wanted to help create the community that I wanted to live in. Phoenix is a unique city because many of us were not born here so the city struggles with identity and a cultural core. The amazing thing about Phoenix is the opportunities here for young entrepreneurs. At 25 I was able to open a business and make a significant change to the culture of the city. Having unique independent shops, restaurants, and services enhance the quality of life for a neighborhood and a community and I wanted to be a front runner in that. Now that Bunky is a mainstay and a staple in Phoenix, I feel so fortunate to have worked hard and put my money where my mouth was to literally be the change I wanted to see in my community!

How do you define success?
Following one’s bliss! Success is taking the risks, working hard, and going after the life you want lo lead. Once you make the decision that you are worth a blissful and fulfilled life, the next steps seem to fall into place. Success is kindness and compassion for others. Success is being able to give back and share the knowledge and battle wounds that you have learned through your experience. Success is relationships and spending ones days exactly how they want them to be.

Biggest Success
This is a hard question. There have been amazing awards – 6 times winning Best of Phoenix, I was featured on the cover of Arizona Woman magazine, and we have received some really cool national press. But I am going to say the biggest success was being able to take 4 weeks of vacation last year with my husband and feel confident that everything would run smoothly while I was gone. And it did. Having an amazing staff, payroll paid, and plans in place made our trip wonderful and satisfying knowing that the hard work was paying off. My biggest personal successes are the smaller ones…whenever I see a customer out wearing an item they purchased at my shop, or when my employees are happy and enjoy their job and their days, when our customers are happy and receive compliments on their purchases or just get to come in the shop and relax and spend a few minutes unwinding. Those are the most important joys!

What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it?
My top challenge was the first 3 years of business and cash flow. We opened a few months before the economy went south and so January 2008- January 2011 were very tough as far as cash flow, paying bills, and keeping the doors open. I faced this challenge the only way that I knew how: working as hard as I could, keeping costs low, listening to what customers wanted, and not giving up. I always say that my timing was actually pretty great in hindsight because I have never known a way to run the business other than lean. Looking back on that time I am incredibly thankful to the customers that supported me and came and spent their hard earned money at Bunky Boutique. They truly kept the business going because they gave me the motivation to keep working hard.

Who is your most important role model?
My most important role model is my uncle Tim. He passed away 6 years ago at the young age of 41. He was inspirational. As a choreographer in NYC he faced many career challenges and continued to pursue his passion no matter what. He always put others first and he taught me that the path to success was helping your fellow man succeed. He knew life was a team effort. A quote that he loved that I think about daily is – Seem a Dream, Prove it Real.