CHILLICOTHE – Businesses start for all kinds of reasons, sometimes very personal. Take, for example, Bobbi Blanton and her Cranberry Boutique.
“In school, I was often made fun of because of my weight,” she began. “But I always loved clothes. I loved fashion. No matter my size, I always wanted to look cute and trendy, and I kept telling myself that one day I would open a clothing store for women of all sizes. How scary! So, I never did it.”
“But,” she continued, “I kept telling myself, ‘You have to quit living with the fear in your head and start living with the dream in your heart.’ I think I told myself that 100 times every day as I kept trying to figure out how to do it. My hubby was the most encouraging person ever, and would constantly tell me, ‘What’s the worst that can happen, you have to shut it down? You’ll never know if you never try.’”
“So I decided to open just an online store,” she said. “Two years ago, I launched my website for Cranberry Boutique – a website that catered to all sizes. I ran the store out of my basement. My friends and family helped me get the word out and we got so busy. It was insane. I never imagined it would take off the way it did. However, now I was dreaming again about opening a brick and mortar. Crazy, right?”
“Every day I would get emails from customers,” she added, “saying ‘Thank you’ for including them or ‘Thank you’ for offering such cute clothes. It just made me feel so good I was helping everyone feel good about themselves. So I prayed and I prayed and I prayed and just a few short months after launching a website, and after finally narrowing down a location, I opened it! I opened my dream store.”
“We have an awesome staff that will help everyone who walks in the store find the perfect outfit for whatever they may need,” she summed. “We have clothes, shoes, jewelry and handbags – tons of inventory in sizes small–3X.”
Bobbi (Mettler) Blanton grew up in Bainbridge “and have lived here my entire life.” She graduated from Paint Valley HS and attended OU-C for 2 years. She worked a few different places to see if anything really intrigued her, and after working in the medical field for 13 years, she decided to step away and become a stay-at-home mom.
It was then she signed up to sell Mary Kay and within 6 months became a senior sales director earning 2 free cars. “It’s like it gave me a new life,” she recalled. “It was rewarding, and it inspired me to be myself and taught me how to help and love others.”
From there she opened a spa in downtown Chillicothe with a friend. But, she said, “my real dream was still in the back of my mind.”
Cranberry Boutique was born. The name, by the way, came about because Blanton “wanted to have a name that meant something to me.”
“We live on my husband’s family farm,” she explained, “and I’ll never forget the stories his grandfather would tell us about how there used to be tons of cranberry thickets behind our house. He always called the hill we live on Cranberry Hill and sometimes would even call our driveway Cranberry Lane. He passed away just shortly before I decided to open the store so I decided I would finally name something Cranberry for him. So Cranberry Boutique it is.”
“Bobbi is such a special individual who takes care of her family and cares deeply for the community,” assessed co-worker Shannon Brauner. “It takes hard work and dedication to make a special business come to life and be successful and I’m super proud and excited so see a truly good person have the success she has.”
“I can’t thank the community and surrounding areas enough!” Blanton responded. “They welcomed my little store with open arms, and sometimes I can’t hold back the tears of how blessed I truly am.”
Cranberry Boutique is located at 1251 N. Bridge St. in Chillicothe. For more information, log on www.cranberryboutique.com.
About the series
Aces of Trades is a weekly series focusing on people and their jobs – whether they’re unusual jobs, fun jobs or people who take ordinary jobs and make them extraordinary. If you have a suggestion for a future profile, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org or 740-349-1110.