Meet store owner, Laura Horwath, of Ferne Boutique.  We love working with this adorable boutique, nestled in the small town of Bay City!  Learn about how she got started and her journey to becoming a successful small business owner.

{SS}: Can you share with us your career background and how you got started with the store?

{Laura Horwath}: My background is in Sales/Marketing and I have held many jobs prior to owning my own business. I started by doing research to get a better idea of what the market looks like where I live in the Great Lakes Bay Region. I contacted a local resource, the Small Business Development Center. They provide business consulting free of charge for entrepreneurs looking to get started. 

{SS}: When did you decide to open Ferne Boutique and what inspired you to start this business?

?{Laura Horwath}: I decided to open the store in April of 2015. I had this idea while I was at a young professionals conference. The speaker was very inspiring and really caught my attention that doing what you love is more important than anything else. 

{SS}: Can you share with us any lessons learned or business advice you have gained throughout your journey of being a business owner?

?{Laura Horwath}: #1. Always have a strategy. Ideas are great and can turn into reality but the strategy behind the idea is what drives it.

#2 Confidence is key. People are always going to talk about you, give you suggestions and their opinions but don’t let that derail your vision.

#3 Do what is best for the customer over what is best for yourself. You will have so many repeat customers coming back if you go the extra mile for them. 

{SS}: What do you love about your job?

?{Laura Horwath}: I control everything myself. My own money, ideas, marketing, inventory, strategy and most of all my time!

{SS}: Who inspires you in the Fashion/Design world?

?{Laura Horwath}: So many to name!  Tom FordChristian Louboutin, Marc Jacobs, and Diane Von Furstenburg. A few others that aren’t necessarily designers but are very inspiring to my business are the women that started the Everly brand and Sophia Amoruso (Nasty Gal and author of #GIRLBOSS).

{SS}: Your secret to work/life balance?

?{Laura Horwath}: Knowing that it is okay to turn it off and what is priority. We all need time away from our day-to-day to just relax and recharge. 

{SS}: What are your current favorite product(s) in store?

?{Laura Horwath}: Flying Monkey Jeans, Everly dresses and plaid shirts. I am all about comfort and making sure my customers feel good and look good in what they are wearing. 

Now onto your personal style…

{SS}: In regards to your personal style, do you have a signature accessory? (i.e. hat, bracelet, one of your pieces you always wear)?

?{Laura Horwath}: Silver Tiffany ball bracelet or gold Mantraband

{SS}: A few items in your "Styleshack" A.K.A closet that you can't live without?

?{Laura Horwath}:Sweater dress, skinny jeans, tall black boots, comfy t-shirt.

{SS}: Who inspires your style?  Favorite Style Icon?

?{Laura Horwath}: Kate Middleton would have to be my favorite style icon. She has so many timeless pieces that you can never go wrong with!

{SS}: Style Archetype?

{SS}: What is your favorite "2015 Fall Trend" ?

?{Laura Horwath}: Ponchos and oversized sweaters. I love being comfortable!

{SS}: Favorite fashion, lifestyle, food or business blog?  

?{LauraHorwath}: is definitely my #1 favorite fashion blog! She has great style and it is seriously addicting. 

Favorite business blog is Gary Vaynerchuk. He is a genius!

I also really love Marcus Lemonis (TV Show The Profit) because of how realistic he is with people. 

{SS}: Are you originally from Bay City? What do you love about your town? If we had 24 hours to spend in Bay City what you recommend we do?

?{Laura Horwath}: I am originally from Northville, MI. Oh wow! Lots to do here in Bay City and great restaurants! Definitely visit downtown for shopping and a meal. We have great antique stores, gift shops, an artisan cheese store and an awesome riverfront which is currently being redeveloped with new businesses, shops, hotels, etc. Our local coffee shops are fantastic! There is a lot of history here in Bay City and I am very proud to call it home. 

{SS}: Favorite places to shop?  

?{Laura Horwath}: Big stores I really love Zara and J. Crew. These are 2 staples that I have had in my life for quite some time. As a local business owner I really love giving back to Bay City and to the state of Michigan as a whole. We have so many cool things happening in our state and I am a big supporter of that. 

{SS}: Favorite place to eat?

?{Laura Horwath}: Our local restaurants in the Great Lakes Bay Region (Bay City, Saginaw and Midland, Michigan) We have some unique options here and I love that they know you by name when you come in!

{SS}: Words to Live by? (OR favorite Quote):

You can SHOP Ferne Boutique on Styleshack at