This sweet boutique caters to any spunky gal wanting to create a closet that lets her to be confident and allows her to express her inner personality.
By: Emily Bruner
Two years ago, a new boutique popped up in Stillwater. I got to sit down with the owner of Jo & Co. Hannah Thompson, and chat about everything from life, the business and, of course, fashion. Hannah,a Design Housing and Merchandising alumna from Oklahoma State University always knew she wanted to open her own store. She caught the entrepreneurial bug from her parents, who she had watched start several businesses while growing up. After taking courses such as Retail Math and Allocations she had made up her mind about opening a boutique, and wasted no time in doing so. Hannah opened Jo & Co. in 2016 shortly after graduating the previous December. “So, why stay in Stillwater?” I asked. She said her and her husband had just fallen in love with the community over their time as OSU students and couldn’t imagine living elsewhere. “It just feels like home,” she said. Having been in her store before I had seen a wide range of customers. Being in a college town, you could, of course, assume the college age girl would be her primary shopper, but her answer surprised me. Hannah describes her “girl” (or her target market audience) as anyone from their teens to their 60s/70s! “I have a pretty funky girl!” she said. She explained that she wanted to cater to a wider audience because of her own personal experience shopping with her mom. She says she hates when they go shop together and only one of them is finding pieces they like. She wants shopping at Jo & Co. to be fun for both daughters and moms. “The whole purpose behind Jo & Co. is really to help women feel comfortable... to find something they can work in or play in and know they look great,” Hannah said. When asked what her favorite part about running her own business was, it was no surprise when her answer was enthusiastically her customers! She said she loves chatting with and getting to know her customers. They’ve even help dictate some of her buying decisions! To wrap up our time together, I asked her to give her best advice to aspiring entrepreneurs. “Your ‘Plan A’ is never going to be as good as your ‘Plan Z’! Don’t be afraid of trial and error. If something doesn’t work, try something else. It’s all a part of learning.