Author: Maura Gillan
Photographer: Bailey Ernst
Model: Janie Barber (@janie_barber)
3 Daughters Boutique opened April 15, the day before the spring game. As a result the store experienced some success.
“We opened the Friday before the game and by Tuesday we had sold 52% of our merchandise,” said Stephanie Johnson, owner of 3 Daughters Boutique.
The name 3 Daughters is derived from Stephanie’s own experience as a mother of three daughters and being one of three daughters.
“The whole concept was that my daughters could shop, I could shop, and my mom could shop,” Stephanie said.
It’s a wide demographic, but Stephanie loves it.
With two of her own daughters at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 3 Daughters began to gain a college following even before the doors opened. Now that they’ve been in business for a while the store is starting to see more of that older age demographic trickle in.
“I think some people thought that the store was just for ‘daughters,’” Stephanie said
Stephanie says the oldest customer they’ve had was 94. She came in wearing leopard print pants and left with a fringed suede jacket.
According to Stephanie their inventory must meet a specific set of criteria:
- 50% of items must be made in the USA
- 50% of the companies they purchase from are women owned
If possible, 3 Daughters likes to incorporate unique artists and vendors that fit their theme and aren’t being sold at many other places. When Stephanie goes to market she only purchases six items of every style. The goal is to keep it unique.
“I tell people it’s more than selling shirts and jeans,” Stephanie said. “It’s about empowering women and helping them see the good in themselves.”
She said it’s a great job but the hardest part is keeping up service and following up quickly. She said she’s been to several markets including Vegas, New York, and Chicago. Her favorite so far has been the one in Chicago.
“I think they do a good job of combining east coast style and west coast style,” Stephanie said. “It’s trendy and classy”
There are plans to attend markets in Atlanta and Dallas as well. Stephanie would like to check out multiple markets around the country to find the one that is best fit for them.
For 80-90 hours a week Stephanie is working in the shop. Her favorite part is being out on the floor making friends with customers. The staff feels like family and there’s a real sense of community centered around the store.
“I love being down here, this stuff doesn’t feel like work to me,” Stephanie said.
Originally Stephanie considered locating 3 Daughters in south Lincoln closer to South Point mall. But being in the Haymarket has been a great fit. Stephanie said there’s always events at the Cube, restaurants having specials and sometimes the hotels send customers over.
“The energy is great. There’s stuff going on down here all the time,” Stephanie said. “It’s so much more fun than I even imagined”
At the moment Stephanie has no plans to expand nor open an online store thought it might be a thing in the future. For her the store isn’t necessarily all about the profit, but more about getting bodies in the store and creating a positive experience.
“I never want to lose that sense of community,” said Stephanie. “I don’t think you’ll ever find employees that care more.”