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Her Love of Shopping Led to Opening a Brand New Store in Alexandria

Stephanie Ryan loves to shop. So much so that she needed to start up her own business in order to curtail her spending habit. Initially, she began an online store that sold clothes from her home, but over time, the operation became too much for the household to deal with.
 
"My husband got to the point where our house was filled with clothes and we were tired of people we didn't know coming to our house shopping and trying things on," she said.
 
Next on her list was finding a storefront to work from and while she and her husband were driving around their new city of Alexandria, she saw the ideal spot for her shop.
 
"We drove by here one day because we moved out to Alexandria about a year ago, and I thought that this is the perfect size and location that I needed," Ryan said. "It's right by the intersection which means people are constantly stopping at the light. So then I just ran with it."
  
True Adorn Boutique was born and has prospered so far in its first month.
 
"I've been open for about a month and we have been busy since, so I can't really complain," she said. "Business has been awesome. I am very shocked with how good it's been."
 
True Adorn is on Main Street, just around the corner from the Alexandria Court House which has both benefits and challenges for its location. Alexandria does not have the foot traffic of some of the more urban and densely populated river cities of Northern Kentucky, so having the shop at an intersection was key for Ryan. 
"It's a busy street, but what helps is that the stop light is right there. I change the window everyday around 3 p.m. and people just keep looking. If they see one thing, it's going to bring them in and then they can see everything else."
 
True Adorn is primarily a place for women's clothing with plans to incorporate more men's items in the future. Initially, Ryan assumed that the majority of her clientele would be younger women, but she has since seen a wide range of customers since her opening.
 
 
"It is not necessarily just geared toward younger people," she said. "I thought it would be a lot more younger people from middle school, to high school and definitely like sororities and college girls, but since we've been open, we've had a variety of middle-schoolers and up to 90-years old. My favorite customer so far is in her 90's and she said that she was too old to wear this stuff, and I told her that she is only as old as she thought she was, so honestly, anybody can wear it now. People that I was targeting was my audience of college girls, but now I just think it's for kind of everybody."
 
There is also a wide assortment of fashion accessories to compliment the clothing she sells. It's important for Ryan and her boutique to offer an array of styles and looks, but also to keep prices to a minimum. Nothing in the store is over $49.  
 
"Everything in the store is under $49, jewelry is as low as $5 and none is over $25. Clothes start at $15, the sale rack could be $9 but nothing is over $49. So it's reasonably priced for everyone as well, because I hate going shopping and spending a ton, so if I hate it, other people hate it."
 
In the window on Tuesday were a variety of tops and shirts which appeared to feature a kind of Western motif. Ryan explained that she has sought out that particular kind of look to better match the area's customer base. 
 
"When I first got started, it wasn't Western at all, but now that we've been out in Alexandria, the market has changed a little. When I had my website, I had some of the Western stuff on there, but since I have moved out here, I have picked up more of the country flavor for the girls out here."
 
Ryan is a go-getter with an abundance of energy. In addition to running the boutique, she is also a senior director at Pure Romance with over 100 sales reps that she oversees. She said that her husband often teases her about having two full-time jobs, but that is just how she likes to work. 
 
"My Pure Romance team is bigger now than it has ever been. Another reason is that when I worked at Pure Romance, I worked at the Metropolitan Club full time and I was still in school. What was cool about that, was that I was by the computer a lot and my business excelled, but when I quit my full-time job and just did Pure Romance and started this up about a year and a half later, I found that it was hard to push myself when I was working at home. Getting this place, I could run both businesses. If I am sitting, I'm nervous because I need to go be doing something, so no I have not been overwhelmed. It was stressful for a while, but not anymore since we've opened."
 
She also found it important to help promote the growth of small businesses in general. She said that while she too still shops at places like Kohl's, women will not find the same kind of modern fashion that she carries at True Adorn.
    
"Especially being in Alexandria, there is nothing like this around," Ryan said. "I want people to start supporting more small businesses. That means a lot to me. This is unique. There's nothing like this around here. You can go to the mall and you're not going to find these kinds of clothes. We get a lot from Los Angeles and their fashion is just a lot more advanced than what we normally get here in good old Kentucky."
 
In the coming months, Ryan hopes to grow True Adorn as she caters to the women and girls of the area in all of their various fashion needs.
"This place is every girl's dream. You can dress up, you can dress down, we have everything from purses to jewelry."  
 
Written by Bryan Burke, associate editor