Nicole and Nick Woodyard had their first child in 2017 which completely changed the course of their life. Not long after, they decided to open Scarlet Rose Boutique. Seems logical, right? New baby + new business sounds like a huge commitment and a lot of stress, so I asked Nicole why they made that leap:
“Noah was born June 15, 2017 in Colorado. He was considered full-term but in Colorado, because of the altitude, babies take longer to develop. He was born at thirty seven and a half weeks, and they told us he was actually acting 35 weeks.
He was small and had low blood sugar, so we had to spend about three weeks in the NICU. Thinking back, that was kind of the turning point for us. We were there without any family and we didn't have anybody to lean on really.
With Noah in the NICU, we really opened our eyes and started thinking about the future. We wanted Noah to grow up around his family, and so we made the decision to move back Arkansas.
We moved back on Labor Day weekend of 2017 (Noah was released from the NICU on July 4th). My husband and I were trying to figure out the next step, and we thought, okay, we've both worked for other people for so long. Do we really want to go back to that? Also, I had always dreamed about opening my own business because both sets of my grandparents had businesses. I grew up in those businesses. I was there helping them and my parents.
I told Nick, we can do this. It's going to be hard in the beginning, but we have the experience, we have the determination, and we can work hard and figure it out. We did a lot of thinking and praying about the decision, and then we decided to go for it.
Now with Noah, we're in a better situation where we can spend more time with him. We knew with him being younger, he wouldn't necessarily remember the hustle and bustle of opening the business in the beginning, and luckily he is super go-with-the-flow and has been amazing.
We really opened this store for the future. My goal is, in a year or so, to get somebody in here part time, so that we can spend more time with Noah.
In the beginning, it was a lot of work. It can get kind of crazy, and Noah does get tired sometimes because he has been along for the whole process. But it works right now, and we’re doing this so we can have the freedom to spend more time with him in the future.”
What kind of businesses did your grandparents have?
“On my dad's side we grew turkeys. They had 12 turkey houses, and it was just my grandma, grandpa and dad that worked there.
My mom, two younger sisters, and I helped out sometimes after we got out of school because the more we helped them, the sooner we could all go home.
That’s honestly where me and my sisters got our work ethic. I mean, obviously it wasn't very glamorous work – raising turkeys. It's gross, and you're out in the conditions. But we spent a lot of time out there helping.
And then on my mom's side, my grandma and grandpa owned a liquor store. The store was in a really small town, and everybody in the town loved my grandpa. Owning a liquor store is also not the most glamorous work, because you can get some pretty rough people. But even those rough people respected and liked my grandpa because for him, customer service always came first.
My grandpa instilled good customer service in us from a very young age. He taught us that you have to treat everybody the same and always offer the greatest service you can.
This January it will be two years since he passed away, but we always still joke about the fact that he would let us run around the store. We’d be there helping him, but we'd play around too. But he always told us that when a customer comes in we were to be seen and not heard. We could be there but we weren't supposed to talk unless the customer talked to us.
Even though it was a liquor store, he wanted to run it very professionally. So we always joke about his famous saying, ‘You need to be seen and not heard.’
I have a lot of memories from helping my grandparents. I remember all of those lessons and working for a common goal, alongside my family. So I kind of fell in love with the people part of it and the customer service part from a very young age.”
Other than work ethic and customer service, what else did you learn from watching or working in those businesses?
“I think persistence is another thing, and one which I've already had to put into practice in the short time that we've been open, whether it be dealing with vendors or marketing or whatever it is. Every day is not going to be perfect, and I learned that from them too. There are always going to be bad days and there will always be times when you feel like things are going right and then you have a slew of things that go wrong or don't go as well as they should. You just have to keep going, stay determined and be persistent. You work hard, offer the greatest customer service but at the end of the day, sometimes you just push a little bit harder to get to where you want to be.”
What kind of legacy or lessons do you want to leave for your son someday with the store?
“Oh my gosh, you're going to make me cry!
I think I want him to learn the same things that I learned from spending every day with my parents and grandparents.
My parents were there every day. It wasn't their business so they didn't completely reap the benefits of owning a company, but they got to work with their family everyday and their families took care of them.
Even when times were hard, we never wanted for anything. We didn't always have the best stuff, but our parents would go without so that we would have whatever we needed. That's the kind of parent that I want to be for Noah.
As far as the legacy of the store, I want to teach him those same things that I learned from my parents and grandparents, customer service especially. Treat people the way that you want to be treated.
I feel that love and respect and honesty are severely lacking in the world today, and I want him to be the kid that brings that back. I want him to know that there is a way that you treat people.
And then there’s the hard-working aspect of running a business. I couldn't do this today without having that work ethic instilled in me from a young age. Anything you want to do to be successful, you have to put in the hard work.”
After talking to Nicole of Scarlet Rose Boutique, it’s clear that this store is more than just a store. It’s a place where respect, passion, and hard work have built a pillar in the community. When you shop with local businesses like Scarlet Rose Boutique, you’re helping to make those something special flourish.