Specializing in trendy, youthful clothing Change Clothes is a boutique located in the heart of Hammond.
Laura Neumann, Southeastern University fashion merchandising graduate, started Change Clothes in May 2011. She shares her experiences as a boutique owner while attending Southeastern.
The “fashion merchandising program gave me the useful knowledge needed to be a successful business owner, said Laura. I was fully prepared when I graduated.”
Upon graduation, owning a store was not in Laura’s plans. She spent three years working for JC Penney and planned to advance her career within the company.
“Initially, I wanted to become a buyer at the corporate office for JC Penney,” Laura said. “I worked at JC Penney in Hammond where I was the visual specialist.
Laura enjoyed her position. “However, when the opportunity to own my own store came up, I jumped on it,” Laura said. “I was able to open my store on June 1st, less than one month after graduation.”
Opening her own store has been one of the most monumental moments of Laura’s life. She continuously brags on all Southeastern’s program has done for her and how prepared the curriculum made her in the field.
“The fashion merchandising program at Southeastern was excellent, Laura said.
She partially liked how balanced the program was.
“Not only did I learn about fabrics and how to sew, but I learned how to write a Roth IRA, eat the correct way and the skills to be successful, Laura said. “ The outside activities were helpful as well.”
Laura attended Dallas Career Day, put on multiple fashion shows and was also involved in Student Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (SAFCS).
Although owning one’s own business may be rewarding, there are also some challenges.
“It is rewarding to have employees and young women look to me for advice.” Laura said she enjoys making her own schedule as well as being her own boss.
Laura faces challenges everyday, some bigger than others.
“My main challenge is keeping every customer happy. There are more joys than challenges, though, said Laura.”