Running a business is not for the faint of heart. It truly is an art when it comes to making a business flourish and grow into a fully functioning operation. Husband and wife duo, Erin and Chris Adams, have proven that they have what it takes to achieve success when it comes to their exclusively online boutique, Charming & Main.
Owning an online boutique wasn’t always the career path that Erin and Chris have taken. Erin started out as a middle school special education teacher, and Chris was a trauma nurse. “We have four kids and with our third pregnancy we decided that it would make more sense for me to stay home,” Erin said.
When their fourth child came along, Erin needed something other than PB&J’s and laundry to look forward to and started looking for opportunities outside the home. The couple’s online boutique wasn’t actually a pre-planned idea.
“We actually stumbled across this idea on accident,” Chris said. “Erin needed something to do besides being a stay at home mom and we had the skill set to be successful."
In July 2016, Erin joined a clothing direct sales company and quickly found a passion for what she calls “social selling.” She would sell clothing and accessories by going live on Facebook from her living room.
"That lasted 3 months. Our business blew up, and by the summer of 2017, Chris was able to leave his job as an emergency room trauma nurse."
The business just kept growing and in late 2018, Erin and Chris took what they learned during their time in direct sales and rebranded as Charming & Main.
Erin and Chris really do make the perfect team. Erin said. “We always joke that I’m the star of the show. I do all of the appearances and fun stuff. But Chris is our unsung hero. He's our back end. He’s marketing, IP, data, sales. Everything behind the scenes. We’ve never looked back. We love being entrepreneurs. I don’t think that we could ever go back to working for someone else.”
In the time that Charming & Main has been open, they’ve built more than just an online boutique, they’ve built friendships.
“Over our five years in business, we’ve come to know our customers as friends. We know them on a more personal level, even though we’ve never met them and most likely will never will.” Erin said. Through the boutique's live streams, Erin and Chris have been able to connect with their customers on a more personal level and get to know them as individuals, not just as online buyers.
Even though Charming & Main is an exclusively online boutique, its inventory is anything but exclusive. “We carry sizes S-3X and showcase clothing on different body types,” Erin said. “We try on every item during our live videos so that people can see what it will look like on them. We describe how the fabric feels. We answer questions and show you how to style it. We’re like personal shoppers. We do it for you. We take all of the hard work out of it. We make it fun.” Charming & Main brings the same excitement to their website and free mobile app for shoppers who can't hang out during our live shows.
Much like most of the world, with the shutdown that came with COVID in March of last year, the couple had their fears and doubts. “Going home on March 20th, we thought for sure we were going to go out of business,” Chris said. But the couple proved, once again, that they had the elite skill set to be successful. “We started noticing what people were running on short supply of. During the shutdown, we started selling things like bread mixes and skincare. Just anything that was needed.” Chris said. "We also filled a void that people needed for socialization. Even though our customers were interacting with us through a screen, we were able to provide that human interaction that everyone desperately needed."
But none of the boutique’s success could have been possible without the team of people who help run the business. “We have people that have been with us since the
beginning. Every person on our team is so welcoming and fiercely loyal and devoted.” Erin said. "Our employees are all Argyle and surrounding-area residents. They are moms who ship packages and receive new inventory while their kids are in school. They are college students who manage to work part-time with their studies. They are recent college grads who are using their knowledge to help propel Charming & Main to new heights."
In just the few years that Charming & Main has been open, they have seen a great amount of growth and success. “It’s cool to see how far we’ve come,” Chris said. What
started out as six clothing racks in the couple’s living room has now grown from a direct sales company to a multi-million dollar business. It’s safe to say that Charming & Main Boutique knows no limit to the success it can achieve.