Editors Note: South Georgia Today is pleased to present this limited run series, Hahira’s Working Women. This series will focus on the amazing women who own or manage a business in Hahira, or hold a position of leadership within this small community. These articles will run twice a week until all of these amazing women have told their stories. You won’t want to miss a single one of these stories.
There is just something special between a mother and her daughter. The bond they share can never be broken, and that bond is even stronger when they are business partners.
Bonnie Buhler and her daughter Shannon Murray have worked hard as a team to see their dream come true. A dream that started as a mother’s vision and soon became a daughter’s mission. A desire to build something unique and special together.
Even though Bonnie and Shannon come from two very diverse careers, they each bring something special to Trendy Chic Boutique.
Shannon spent 15 years as a dental hygienist and enjoyed her work immensely. However, a medical diagnosis made her work much more difficult, as sitting for long periods of time became increasingly more painful, taking the joy out of her work. Shannon didn’t know what the future held, but she knew it was time to move on from the career she loved so much.
Her mother, Bonnie had spent nearly 30 years working for her father’s business; Sam Lazarus & Company in downtown Valdosta. She had been retired for about 5 years when an idea came to mind.
“I retired and didn’t realize how bored I would be, and I wanted to do something to keep me from boredom. That was one of my main reasons for wanting to open the boutique,” Said Buhler.
Bonnie had been tossing around an idea to open her own clothing store, and the timing was right with Shannon’s recent retirement.
“I always wanted to have my own business, but it was all in the air and I never took steps to opening a business,” Said Buhler.
Bonnie shared her idea with Shannon and they spent many long hours talking about what their business would look like. They wanted it to be different, a place where they could help women reach their full potential, a place where their customer would be their focus.
With a plan in mind, they set out to find the perfect location. On August 17, 2017, on the way to the post office, Bonnie noticed a building in downtown Hahira with a “For Rent” sign in the window.
Feeling this was a sign from God, Bonnie inquired about the building and within just a couple of hours she was filling out a rental agreement, and the next day, the building was theirs.
With a plan, and now a building secured, the real work began.
As the name of their boutique implies, Bonnie and Shannon wanted to stock their boutique with trendy women’s fashion. Yet, they also wanted to offer their customers a classic, timeless look in the clothes they offered. They were able to find what they think is just the right balance in what they provide to their customers.
On January 8, 2018, Trendy Chic Boutique officially opened to the public. Those first three months were amazing, as customers were eager to visit their new shop.
As their customer base grew, Bonnie and Shannon realized there was a need that wasn’t currently being met. Many customers had begun asking for clothes for “bigger’ girls, and this gave the mother/daughter team another idea.
Once again, they felt God provided an opportunity they could not pass up. The building next door to them became available, and they were able to rent that space as well. This new space was soon filled with clothes for the “bigger” girls. Quickly, Curvy Chic became as successful as Trendy Chic had.
According to Shannon, “this business wouldn’t be what it is today without the exceptional customer service we feel we provide.” It is their goal to give their customers the royal treatment from the time they enter the front door, until the time they leave.
Bonnie and Shannon each have unique talents that they bring to the business. Shannon handles the administration of running the boutique, along with inventory management. Shannon says while she enjoys seeing and visiting with her customers, she does enjoy all the behind the scenes work. Her mother, Bonnie, is the customer service pro. After nearly 30 years in retail, Bonnie knows a thing or two about how to satisfy their customers.
Indeed, walking in to Trendy Chic, one can immediately feel a calming spirit come over them, and Bonnie and Shannon each work hard to make sure you are treated like royalty.
What does the future hold for Trendy Chic and this mother/daughter team? “We want to make sure our inventory always reflects the latest trends, but we will also continue to work hard in helping our customers feel as beautiful as we think they are,” said Shannon.
Bonnie and Shannon are also busy working behind the scenes to ensure that Hahira continues to grow. They are both actively involved in the Hahira Merchants Association, and Shannon, along with Emily Davenport, Hahira’s Main Street Director, are the co-chairs for the Small Business Saturday initiative.
They have quickly become an integral part of downtown Hahira, and both are busy ladies, blazing new trails, and setting new trends.
Visit Trendy Chic Boutique in beautiful downtown Hahira at 102 West Main Street, Tuesday through Friday from 10:00 am until 5:30 pm and Saturday from 10:00 am until 4:30 pm. You can also find them on Facebook here.