|The fabulous Blue Moon Market|
Hooray! I’m FINALLY posting for “L”! Hey, give me a break – it’s a post in which I highlight a fantastic locally owned boutique that I love, and I wanted to make sure I gave you as much info as I could on the shop and the philosophy of its owners before I published the piece. Don’t worry, I will also post about “O” later on today so I will continue to be on-track!
As most of you know, one of the easiest ways to give back to your community is to shop locally. While I love big chain restaurants and stores just as much as the next person (hello, Starbucks!), I also enjoy the individuality that can only be found at establishments such as locally owned boutiques, bistros, and cafes. Here in Joplin, one of my favorite local shops is none other than Blue Moon Market.
Blue Moon Market, which is located at 613 South Main in Joplin, is open every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. BMM is the brainchild of three fabulous women – Teddy Steen, Rebecca Courtney, and Jeanene Eberhart– who display an eclectic mix of style and creativity at this fashionable boutique. At Blue Moon Market you can find anything from home décor to gourmet food to - my favorite, of course - fabulous clothing. And, as if the great merchandise they offer wasn’t enough to get me in the door, BMM also sponsors a different charity AND artist each month. How cool is that?
Since I love everything about Blue Moon oh-so-much, I thought I’d share some interesting facts from the store’s owners/founders. If you live in Joplin, be sure and go by and say hi this weekend (or Thursday evening when they have extended hours for this month’s Third Thursday Art Walk). If you don’t live close by, tell us about your favorite local boutique!
Me: “How did the idea for Blue Moon Market come about?”
Blue Moon Market (BMM): “Blue Moon came about after Teddy approached Rebecca, who already operated a business with Jeanene, about the possibility of opening a store together. The three women combine their individual strengths to create an enjoyable shopping environment which has been successful enough to warrant expansion through additional hours of operation as well as the opening of a new store in Arkansas.”
Me: “Each month you sponsor a different charity and artist. Why did you decide to make this a part of your business model, and how do you accomplish this?”
BMM: “We think we have achieved a good reputation in the community for fair prices, wide variety, friendly local service and a fun place to hang out. We feel it is very important to give back to the community that you do business in. We all come from a life of strong faith and we want to support the agencies in our area that are helping others. We usually just call the charity and let them know what we would like to do and ask them if there is a certain time of year or event they would like for us to support and we have them set up in the store with their material and they are welcome to encourage donations at the store as well. We also give them a portion of the profits from the evening or weekend. This year we are focusing on Third Thursdays. We also support events in our area by donating gift certificates for auctions or door prizes as often as we can. As far as artists, we are always happy to look at their products and see if they would like to set up outside our store on Third Thursday or inside if there is room. We also purchase things from local artists and sell in the store if we think it is a fit.”
Me: “What is the one thing you are most proud of that BMM has been able to achieve in the community? (i.e., what charity or artist have you sponsored that has benefitted the most from your efforts at BMM – and in what way?)”
BMM: “So far, we have been able to provide the best support both through monetary donations and exposure for the charity. We don’t really know of anything else yet.”
Me: “What advice would you give to others considering opening a venture such as yours in their own communities?”
BMM: “We would advise them to be willing to work really hard, not expect to make a lot of money to begin with, be patient, and try your best to enjoy yourself. Make sure that you have the right people with the right talent in diverse areas. You don’t always agree because you are different but you will have a much better operation when you look at it from different perspectives and strengths. You will meet many new people and make new friends. It feels good to be a local business. Make sure your downtown is on the upswing and becoming a viable part of your community. That has really been fun to be part of the growth. We also opened up a store on the square in Bentonville and it is growing by leaps and bounds down there and even more so now that the museum has been opened. That is a very exciting place to be.”
So, there you have it. Wonderful, wise words from some women who are making their dreams a reality (and helping a whole lot of others while they’re at it!) Be sure to stop by Blue Moon Market (613 S. Main in Joplin) and say hi to these lovely ladies. Tell them Dawn sent you!
Have you been to Blue Moon Market yet? What is your favorite local boutique/restaurant/café?