Pay It Forward – Oak Boutique

I am happy to present to you our ninth local business spotlighted in the Pay it Forward feature – Oak Boutique.

Our recent Lake County business featured was Itzia Rico, owner of Studebakers Coffee House & Deli, who chose to Pay it Forward to Caitlin Andrus, owner of Oak Boutique.

The catch is that I will not choose the next business to interview, but the current spotlighted business will choose who I will interview next. Local businesses will Pay it Forward.

Oak Boutique is a locally owned and operated women’s and children’s clothing store that features a variety of clothing, bags, jewelry, accessories, children’s & inspirational books with specialty clothing for the locals, and so much more.

Caitlin Andrus supports the local community and recently celebrated being in business for seven years. Oak Boutique offers gift certificates and is open every day. Caitlin provides a friendly, inviting and comforting establishment. Oak Boutique is located in downtown Kelseyville.

1. Why did you decide to start your own business?

I was living in Oakland in 2015 and starting my family when my mom was
diagnosed with cancer. I knew that I had to move home to be with her
and help her through treatments, etc. I was about to become a mama for
the first time and needed to be able to make a living and have the
ability to bring my son and close up or leave if necessary for my mom.

I had befriended a local shop owner in Oakland and asked her if she
thought a shop back in my hometown of Kelseyville could succeed. She
believed it could and offered me a crash course training that included
a three-day trip to L.A. with my little seven-week-old in tow. She showed me the
ropes, and I was instantly in love with the industry. We spent another
Two days merchandising the shop while she imparted so much valuable

Two weeks, lots of sweat and tears and laughter with my parents, and
many late nights later, Oak opened its doors!

I am forever grateful to Amanda and my parents for their belief in me
and my vision, as well as their time working to help make the shop meet
that vision.

2. What advice would you give to someone just starting their own business?

I would advise someone starting a business to really ask themselves if
they are ready and capable to dedicate every free moment to their
business. In the beginning, you have to want to eat, sleep, dream
business. You have to say no to many other things you might want to do
to truly build the business and connection to your customers; to hone
in on needs, find more efficient ways to do things, etc.

And you need to be humble. You need to be able to take feedback and filter it and
apply what will make your business stronger. I would also urge them to
reach out to other business owners. I didn’t have a community when I
first opened that I could talk shop with, and that was tough.

Since then, I’ve become friends with many business owners as well as having
my sister join me in the shop world and we all bounce ideas off each
other and support one another.

3. What routines do you follow each day?

This is a practice that I do not feel pertains to me and my business
at this stage in life. No single day is the same between my shop and
my two kiddos, so there is not a specific routine that I follow.
Flexibility is the name of the game for me!

4. Where do you see your business in five years? Ten?

In five years, I’d love to open another Oak and be employing 2-4
wonderful people. I will have Oak online and rolling, being able to
bring our products to more people.

In ten years, I see Oak with three locations and solid systems that create the same inclusive and comfortable environment that makes Oak special.

5. How did you market your business when it was brand new?

When Oak was brand new I advertised on social media and did paid ads
on Facebook.

6. If you could spend the day with anyone (living or who has passed on) who would it be and why?

If I could spend one day with anyone, it would definitely be my mom,
who passed away four years ago. We’d just go for a lovely walk and talk
all day. I could share how much we miss her and update her on all
she’s missed. She always believed in me, and I would love to hug and
thank her again.

Caitlin Andrus, Oak
3970 Main Street, Kelseyville, California 95451
Open every day 11-5
FB and Insta: @oak.boutique

Caitlin is Paying it Forward to Tim Biasotti– owner of BBQ by Biasotti. 

Stay tuned for BBQ by Biasotti! 

Lori Armstrong

Lori began her career in the legal field, leaving that position to pursue full-time writing endeavors. Being a criminal court reporter for the Record-Bee, she balances the chaos in her brain by writing children's books and reflective pieces. When time allows, she publishes books for Amazon.

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