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Meet Trailblazer Camille Badger and Karen Nunez

Today we’d like to introduce you to Camille Badger and Karen Nunez.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Camille and Karen. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
We are Karen and Camille, owners of an online boutique called Luxe + Luna!

Our story began when we met two years ago working for a dermatology office. We became super close and quickly learned that we both shared a love for all things fashion. Co-workers turned into besties, besties turned into Boss babes, is how I like to describe us.

Luxe + Luna started out as a dream, just two fashion hungry girls talking about how great it would be to own a boutique and eventually be big enough to use our voice for good, and empower other women to chase their dreams, you know? It all sounds so great but, it’s super easy to feel discouraged and scared when you don’t know where to start and find your niche in an oversaturated industry with all the online boutiques popping up on social media platforms every day.

A defining moment for us was in February of 2018, we were having a girls day (shopping, of course) and I remember saying to Karen “we should just do it, we should open up an online boutique” and she said ” okay, let’s do it” and we did. Later that evening we applied for our tax id, registered our trade name, applied for a business license and started to talk about our brand.

What do we want to offer and what is our niche? That’s where it became fun and we literally felt ourselves morph into shop owners in a hot second! WE WERE MEANT TO DO THIS! We knew we wanted to carry chic and trendy pieces that were of high quality. We wanted shopping in our boutique to be easy and stress-free for our customers.

Most importantly we want to inspire women. As working moms, it is easy to lose yourself in the hustle and bustle of life. If you have a dream or vision, go for it! It’s never too late to pursue that dream of yours. We promise.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Well… I feel like I can speak for a lot of other shop owners out there when I say, it’s not a smooth road when opening up an online boutique. Like, those youtube videos out there that say “open an online boutique in six easy steps” are literally a joke. There is so much that goes into a business and like most other business out there, you need to invest into it and be patient and don’t let the hiccups that come with it get you down. There are some hard lessons to be learned and yes, we have had our fair share of them.

One piece of advice I would give someone just starting their journey in this industry would be to network like a boss! Networking is one of my favorite aspects of this business and I’ll admit I was scared and intimidated in the beginning. But honestly, it’s not scary at all! Put yourself out there and open an account on any relevant social media platform out there. Reach out to other people in your industry, reach out to local business and collaborate.

Collaborating with Influencers are a good option but not always the best one. They have their own agenda and you need to make sure that what they stand for is aligned with you and your brand, Don’t choose the influencer with the most followers, choose the one that has a similar style, vibe or aesthetic to yours so the collaboration makes sense. This was one of our hard lessons. We were giving the product away for promotion to the girls with a large following and gained nothing in return, We were left discouraged and running low on inventory.

Another struggle we have had is balancing our personal life with our new business. Owning a business comes with A LOT of work. Keeping up with emails, social media accounts, updating our website with new inventory, etc. It’s a lot of work… We are both mothers, Karen has three boys and I have three daughters. We work full-time jobs in addition to Luxe + Luna and have men in our lives that miss the extra time we used to have… it’s been a challenge to make time for it all and some times we need to take a step back, prioritize and make to-do lists just to get through a day without losing our mind.

Family will always come first and we have learned to disconnect and spend this precious time with our families. They are the ones cheering us on and rooting for us to pursue our dream of owning this boutique.

We’d love to hear more about Luxe + Luna.
Luxe + Luna is an online boutique described as Rich and Dreamy, we love all things feminine.

I feel that we represent that well in our boutique and that is our niche. At Luxe + Luna, you can find chic dresses, trendy and classy jumpsuits, and luxurious sweaters. Every single item has been hand-picked by us, we make sure the quality is top-notch and inspect each item as it arrives to make sure it’s going to please the buyer. This is so important to us. We aspire to be a high-end clothing boutique with a great price tag.

We will be the first ones to say we are not for everyone, there’s no such thing as everyone can shop here kind of boutique. But if you’re looking for a perfect little cocktail dress, a sexy two-piece set or a flattering bodysuit, we are definitely your kind of shop. Which I believe sets us apart.

We each have our own strengths to offer and when those strengths are put towards one goal, amazing things happen! Karen likes to research what’s on-trend, find new vendors and does a lot of the hard work that goes into our pretty website. I like to run the social media accounts and do the networking for Luxe + Luna. I enjoy reaching out to other boutiques, photographers, and influencers to make connections in hopes to promote each other. We are all about rooting you on, we want everyone to thrive in this industry. Women supporting women, small business supporting other small businesses. Because of this system, we have made many connections.

We had the opportunity to work with Woven Pear, a well-known sock company based out of Utah. Their art director and photographer reached out to us to dress their models for their Easter sock box photoshoot. They felt that our pieces were dreamy and whimsical which was a perfect fit for the look they were going for. It turned out to be a triple collaboration with them and Shop Andi an accessories company. Great things happen when you step out of your comfort zone!

I’m proud of how far we have come in the eight months we have been open. Sometimes, it feels like a dream.

Finding a mentor and building a network are often cited in studies as a major factor impacting one’s success. Do you have any advice or lessons to share regarding finding a mentor or networking in general?
Networking is a must in this industry and if you’re willing to put in the time, the payoff is worth it. I like to message our new followers and let them know I’m available if they have any questions, and thank them for following us. That makes a connection with them and hopefully, it turns into a sale. No matter what, you’re meeting great people and getting the word out about your brand.

If you can afford it, get yourself a branding consultant! Do your research and find the right one. Again, we went with the girl that had more followers for branding and content creation and sadly it just wasn’t a good fit for our boutique. She didn’t quite understand our brands aesthetic and we wasted money and time. That was the hardest (and most expensive) lesson we learned through this entire process. We were lucky enough to find Chelsey with River + Jean. She’s amazing and we ended up rebranding our entire look with her. She offers so much valuable information on her Instagram handle too, I highly recommend following her for all the great advice she gives freely.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Stefanie Marie Photography, Shaelynn Marne Photography

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