Monkee's of Fredericksburg
High-end boutique / real-life mom
It was really amazing to see Catherine in her element during our FXBG Lifestyle shoot. And what I mean by element is running a high-end boutique all while raising her beautiful daughter Mackenzie. You can see while looking around the store how these two important roles in her life have merged so seamlessly together. A basket of toys sits next to a pair of Tory Burch sandals, a beautiful Lilly Pulitzer dress now has a matching 12 month old size and the term "mommy & me" has never seemed so stylish.
From Draper James to cupcakes & cashmere the fashion forward thinking of Catherine and all the employees at Monkee’s makes this Boutique a must stop on your next shopping trip. Not only will you walk away with beautiful high-quality products (hence their logo "you might need a bigger closet"), you'll also walk away feeling truly appreciated and taken care of. And that's why it's no surprise that Monkee's customers come back for that experience time and time again.
FXBG Lifestyle Q&A
Let’s get to know Catherine a little more...
Q. Have you always been into fashion? What sparked this passion?
I have always loved clothes and dress up was definitely my favorite game to play as a child. Feeling confident in your own skin is so important and clothing is such an expression of who you are! I always feel more confident to take on the day when my outfit is pulled together and I'm comfortable!
Q. What did you want to be when you grew up?
Like most children this was ever changing, but I remember wanting to be a Mom, teacher and guidance counselor.
Q. Biggest challenge with being a business owner and a mother?
Balancing my time is definitely my biggest challenge. Always making sure that I am there to experience milestones with my daughter while also ensuring the store is performing well.
Q. Describe a day in the life at Monkees.
One of my favorite things about my job is that every day is different and you never know what will happen. That is one of my favorite things about my job! We start the day by cleaning and restocking the store, checking messages from the night before and start work on our to do list; which normally includes redoing displays and special ordering items. We quickly set asides our projects to help our customers and catch up over coffee. Soon the UPS man Chris stops in with our shipment of the day and we open and price all our fun new arrivals! It's like Christmas everyday. Lunch is typically on the go as we are working on shipments, helping customers and planning our next advertisement, social media post or email. At the end of the day I typically go back and actually start on the morning to do list.
Q. Your “go-to” outfit is?
My Fall go to outfit is a pair of suede booties, jeans, a comfortable shirt and a vest and/or scarf!
Q. Your favorite drink is?
During the day a soy latte and evening a Cosmo or beer while I watch a football game with my husband.
Q. Greatest success and flop?
My greatest success is going from a full time employee, to the Manager and Buyer and now the Owner of Monkee's of Fredericksburg.
My greatest flop would have to be a few trunk shows I have hosted where we did not receive a good response from our customers. It's like throwing a party and having no one come. It was a quick way to learn that line was not something my clients wanted and we moved forward.
Q. How do you select the products/clothing you have in the store?
I was lucky to have learned how to read reports before purchasing the store allowing me to see what vendors have worked well in the past and when we need to move forward. There are several stand out vendors that continually perform well and others that come and go. The corporate office and other Monkee's stores provide great support. Offering suggestions of well performing lines at other stores and top trending lines and items. As far as picking individual styles I mostly use my instinct. I typically know right away if an item will do well or not. I also like to use the rule of naming three customers I would love to show the item too!
Q. What's the best piece of advice you've ever gotten?
Do what you do well and hire the rest! I thought that was such a great piece of advice because it makes you really think about your strength and weaknesses.
Q. What's your favorite thing to wear in the fall?
Boots, booties, denim and vests!
Q. Who is your favorite style icon?
Jackie Kennedy and Kate Middleton
Q. You are throwing your dream dinner party. Who is on the guest list?
Not to be too personal but my Mom would be number one on my guest list. She passed away when I was five and I would love to have the chance to sit down and get to know her!
Q. Someday I want to________________
Retire to Duck, NC with my husband!
Q. On my days off I love to __________________
Spend time with my daughter and husband! When the weather is nice we try to take a family walk every night.
Q. If you could meet one person dead or alive who would it be?
I would love to meet Princess Diana or Kate Middleton. I think they both set amazing standards of style not only in fashion but how they carry themselves!
Q. Date night with Tim in FXBG… Where would you go?
Dinner at Bistro Bethem or Foode!
Q. What is your favorite thing about being a small business owner in Fredericksburg, VA?
I just love our town! It is such an amazing mix of stores, art galleries, historical sights, salons, gyms and restaurants. My favorite thing is meeting new people everyday!
Q. What does community mean to you?
Community to me means having each other's backs. When our roof leaked a month after I bought the store we were clearly devastated. However, the outpour of support from the community with offers to help clean up, move inventory and store inventory was incredible!