Inside the Pepper Flower Boutique there is a variety of clothing including short and long satin and cotton dresses of different prints. There are navy blue and white strapless one-piece jumpsuits, jeans, bikinis and a white bathing suit with a plunging v-neck, pink hearts and lace—which look more like lingerie.
June Hill, 25, from Thomasville, Ga, said, “I decided to open a boutique because I always liked clothes.”
Instead of saving, she would spend extra money buying clothes. Hill laughs and then adds, ” If I go to the store and have to pick up something, there’s got to be a lot of people out there that are doing the same thing.”
With only one semester left in school, Hill, a senior political science student at Florida State University, said it was time to pay back loans.
Planning to open the boutique took less than six months. When the thought came to her, she told her friend Kiwanis White.
“She supported me 200, no probably 500 percent,” Hill said.
White told her the entrepreneur to pursuer her dream.
“I told June, if you have a chance to open that door, this is a great time. I just encouraged her to go on and do it,” White said.
After finding office space in a plaza behind the CVS at the corner of Apalachee and Capital Circle Southeast, Hill searched the Internet for wholesale retailers with reasonable prices.
She buys the clothes wholesale, so she is able to make a profit. Everything in the store is under $30.
“I then found a place to get the fixtures, but then I waited because I was scared,” she laughed.
After overcoming her fear, Hill wanted a name for the boutique with no race or culture behind it.
“When you hear it you don’t know what it is, or you have an assumption that’s not right.”
Hill said she and White threw around a couple of names such as Lady’s Passion Boutique, but Hill decided to go with Pepper Flower.
Hill says her mother and stepfather are also a part of her support system.
“I’m still a full-time student taking 15 credit hours. My mom and my step-father keep my little girl when I’m at school and at work,” Hill said.
Hill still works in the store Mondays-Saturdays and at the Shoe Station on Sundays. She also enrolled in school for 15 hours. Hill said her parents make sure she is able to spend time with her daughter. Even if they have to drive across town so her 7-year-old daughter Jamiyah. Hill may see her for only 30 minutes in between her classes.
After graduating this summer, Hill plans on putting her degree to use and getting a local government job in urban and rural planning. She said she will hire someone to work in the store when she can’t be in there.
Hill said her dream—before the boutique—was to go to a third-world country and work on urban and rural planning.
Hill has provided clothes for fashion shows for a Florida State business fraternity and local churches such as Family Worship and Praise Center, to promote her business and bring a more diverse crowd of customers.
“I don’t have a targeted age group, my store is for people who like to shop,” Hill said.
Hill said she plans on running the boutique as long as God allows her to keep the doors open.