Asheville Boutique Meets the Modern Trend with Mountain BizWorks
The local, on-trend fashion boutique Hazel Twenty first started as a simple e-business run by Asheville mom, Lexi DeYeso back in 2014. After transforming her online shop into a unique and versatile shopping experience with her first mobile boutique, in 2018 Lexi opened her dream retail store in downtown Asheville.
Turning Passion Into Profit
Since college, Lexi DeYeso has always been into fashion. In fact, she majored in retail and fashion merchandising and having a storefront of her own has long been the goal.
Knowing a storefront may take time, she began an online shop selling clothing on eBay in 2014. After running her online retail business for a few years, Lexi was inspired by a friend who told her about seeing boutique clothing shops at a festival. Immediately, she loved the concept and knew it was the next step for her own business.
She purchased an out-of-commission FedEx truck, and transformed it into a chic, Insta-worthy mobile clothing boutique, fully stocked with on-trend, quality brands. But it wasn’t as easy as it sounds, “I grossly underestimated the costs and all the time and all the things that would make me an entrepreneur.”
Despite the growing pains, Lexi’s mobile boutique flourished and could be seen parked everywhere around WNC from breweries to festivals to coffee shops. After a couple of years on wheels, it was finally time to expand and in 2018 Lexi opened her dream retail store in downtown Asheville.
A Modern Storefront for a Modern Business
What’s special about the Hazel Twenty brick and mortar is its comfortable, accommodating atmosphere. “I put a lot of effort into the customer experience, so I hope that it is a true reflection of me as a person and as an owner.” With an emphasis on leaving an impression on each customer that enters her shop, she carefully curates the entire experience – everything from the sounds, colors, sights, styles, even having her dog hang out in the shop, are all part of the designed experience.
Lexi believes the clothing should not be serious; it should not feel pretentious or out of reach. Instead, shopping for clothing should simply be fun.
A Success Story Founded on Support
Right from the start, Lexi found the resources at Mountain BizWorks to be tremendously helpful. In addition to using the financial planning resources in the beginning, she also partnered with a coach, meeting for hours to finesse her business plan, establish financial projections, and get concrete numbers on the books. “The early work on the projected budget was invaluable to me,” she says of the resource she found most helpful.
Beyond the invaluable resources at Mountain BizWorks, Lexi attributes the success of Hazel Twenty to her incredible team, “I wouldn’t be here without my team. They’re a huge part of where I’m at right now.” Having people behind you who not only support and believe in your dream but who help you accomplish it has had a huge impact on the business.
From Student to Teacher
Taking what she learned from her business coach and through her experience as a business owner, Lexi now influences the next generation of aspiring entrepreneurs as a Mountain BizWorks business coach herself. With her retail and marketing knowledge, she is an excellent resource for aspiring and current business owners. Working one-on-one with clients, Lexi helps them identify issues and customizes plans to support them in achieving success.
To someone just starting out, Lexi has one piece of advice, “Simply dream big, shoot for the moon, believe in yourself, try not to limit yourself, and most importantly, have faith and trust in the process. The hard work follows, of course.”
Hitting the Road with the Hazel Twenty
The next big step and aim for Lexi is to expand beyond Asheville.
“I’m really thinking of how this product can expand beyond our market and into different cities. That’s where my thinking is now.” With a solid business plan, resources from Mountain BizWorks, and a strong support team, the future looks bright for Lexi and Hazel Twenty.