Monday, February 9, 2015

Meet Brooke Ohler, Founder of Southern Selection

Brooke Ohler is an animal lover, horror movie fanatic, and Brantley Gilbert's #1 fan. She's a highly educated small business owner from Ohio with an associates degree in marketing and accounting. She enjoys spending her free time outdoors with family and friends.

Brooke's online store, Southern Selection, features clothing and accessories with the cowgirl in mind, including boots, purses, belts, jeans, and more.

1. What made you decide to shift from buying and selling southern-inspired clothes as a hobby, to starting business specializing in selling the clothing you love?

Well, the thought never crossed my mind. I was just doing it for fun, but everyone I sold to kept asking for my website, and I would reply "I do not have one; I do this for fun." Everyone kept telling me I should start a website and make it a career. So I thought about it, and I decided to do it--why not make a career out of doing something I love?

2. How do you choose the items to feature in your store?

I only want to carry quality clothing and apparel, so I do a lot of digging and research to find manufacturers that make quality country-style clothing. I contact the manufacturers directly, and we exchange stories about our business and vision to see if we would be a good fit for each other. I then work out a deal with them to carry their products.

3. What has been different for you in terms of running your own site rather than selling on eBay?

The difference would have to be being able to work more closely with my customers, and build a brand. I love that about having my own website: I love working with my customers, building my website with country girl appeal. Having a website makes it feel more real to me, where eBay still felt like a hobby.

4. Before you started Southern Selection, had you run your own business before? What kind of work did you do?

No, this has been my only business adventure. I was mostly a stay at home mom, and I went to college. I did some freelance work marketing and writing for other businesses. During tax season I worked as a tax preparer.

5. How do you hope to grow your shop over the next year or two?

I have so much passion for Southern Selection; I have so many plans for the future. This is truly my passion: I eat, sleep, and breathe this company. Along with my fiancé and children, this business is my love. My fiancé joined me to bring his business expertise. Also, my sister partnered up with me to help grow this company. Right now it is all about making a name for ourselves, showing what we have to offer. We always plan to stay a small family-owned business as I love working hands-on with my customers, but our next goal is to open a brick and mortar store in the future.

Thanks, Brooke!

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