The Farmer’s Wife Boutique Thrives Amidst Challenges
Samantha Miller, owner of the Farmer’s Wife Boutique in Aberdeen, recently received the Small Business Administration’s 2019 Woman-Owned Small Business of the Year Award for South Dakota. The SBA presented the Award during the recent Women’s Business Conference in Aberdeen.
Samantha started her career in healthcare, but when she was expecting her daughter, she became passionate about being a stay-at-home mother, so she looked at other options. With encouragement from family and friends, she started a women's lifestyle boutique offering clothing, shoes, purses, jewelry, accessories, and unique gifts. She launched The Farmer's Wife Boutique on Facebook in 2014 from her home in Groton, adding an ecommerce site almost simultaneously.
Describing her business, she said, “We enjoy carrying local hand crafted accessories from female owned small businesses. The Farmer's Wife Boutique hosts monthly pop up shops and events promoting local small business owners. We take pride in offering unique Christian inspired gift lines that give back to charitable causes.”
The online site was so successful that in January 2015, Samantha opened her first 600 sq. ft. storefront location in Groton. A year later, she opened a second location, an 1,800 sq. ft. storefront in a historic building in downtown Aberdeen. Before long, she consolidated her operations into the Aberdeen shop. With her ecommerce site, www.thefarmerswifeboutique.com, she can also serve customers nationally and globally.
In building her business, Samantha took out loans from GROW South Dakota for additional inventory and working capital. She has also received assistance from the Aberdeen Small Business Development Center, which is hosted by GROW SD. In addition, GROW SD loan officers have provided technical assistance with ideas to help improve her business.
The Farmers Wife Boutique has experienced the ups and downs of owning a small business but has also gained more attention during its existence. It was nominated in 2016 for an Aberdeen Chamber Abby Award recognizing outstanding customer service and was selected as a semi-finalist for the Dakota Rising Fellowship in 2017. In 2018, The Boutique was selected as a top 5 nominee for a local Reader's Choice Best in the following categories: Children's Retail, Women's Clothing, and Greatest Retail Customer Service. Samantha also believes in participating in and giving back to her community. She has organized events in both Groton and Aberdeen and is involved in many charitable, business, civic and church activities.
Like many business ventures, The Farmer’s Wife Boutique has had its highs and lows, but Samantha appreciates the assistance she has received from GROW SD. “Your support means the world,” she told a GROW SD staff person. “I’m so incredibly blessed to have you in my life and this crazy business venture.”
Aberdeen, SD 57401