January 28, 2021

Kari Johnston ’05

Entrepreneurial Alumna Puts Passion Into Practice

虽然2020年似乎不是创业的最佳时机, Kari Smith Johnston, Wittenberg class of 2005 and owner of the Rose City Boutique, felt it was her destiny.

约翰斯顿在距校园仅一步之遥的E街115号开了一家精品店. Ward Street on Nov. 5. 玫瑰城精品店设有超过15个供应商专门从服装的一切, 珠宝, and home décor to 艺术isan items, do-it-yourself supplies, 和更多的, coming together for an eclectic array of merchandise.

“从某种意义上说, 在小企业举步维艰的全球疫情期间,进军实体零售行业似乎有些疯狂, 但 there are three reasons I did,约翰斯顿说:“, a native of Springfield who graduated with a degree in sociology. “首先,我想,如果我今年能成功,我就只能往上爬了. 其次,我感受到了全国各地社区支持小企业的愿望. 最后,也是最重要的一点,我觉得我的社区需要更安全、更平静的购物场所. 我发现这些天购物压力很大,从拥挤的人群到混乱的供应链,再到有限的选择. I love that folks can come find beautiful things here.”

With the shopping area being about 1,500平方英尺, separated between a foyer, two smaller rooms, 和一个陈列室, Johnston说, “It's difficult to not be near other people, 但, 当然, we are diligent in our sanitizing protocols and social distancing. yibo亿博体育首页还提供高水平的客户服务,这在现在的零售行业是很难找到的. Every time I see someone come through the doors, 我的微笑, and they visibly relax, and I know I made the right decision. It’s seeing my shoppers happy that brings me so much joy.”

The boutique is open Thursday and Friday from noon to 8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. The shop is 关闭d Monday through Wednesday.

他们每家公司的名字都在整栋大楼里随处可见, 你可以直观地看到你在这里购物支持了多少小企业,约翰斯顿说:. “We have women and little girls' clothing and outerwear, 手工制作的首饰, 陶器, home decor including things like pillows, wreaths and stained glass, 艺术, goat milk soaps and balms, DIY供应, 饼干, 和更多的. Since so much of it is done by our 艺术isans, many of our items are one-of-a kind, and different things are in the store all the time. yibo亿博体育首页已经有人每周来,因为总是有新的项目.”

然而,当一家精品店的老板并不是她认为自己会追求的职业道路, Johnston is happy with her decision.

“When I graduated from Wittenberg, my goal was to be a social worker, 但 I soon found that I needed additional certifications to do that,约翰斯顿说:“, a member of Kappa Delta, the Wittenberg Choir, 在威登堡大学期间,她也是大学传媒的学生工作者.  “While I figured out my path, 我在当地一家公司做了一份初级的出站电话工作,然后就爱上了这个行业. 我在那家公司工作了14年,在不同的部门工作,从基层晋升到呼叫中心运营管理部门. 今年早些时候,我渴望拓展业务,并跳槽到另一家职位和行业类似的公司.  但当我开了这家店后,我意识到要做好这件事,我就需要全职工作. I then left that organization to be a full-time shopkeeper.”

结果,约翰斯顿发现,开一家精品店是命运的决定,而不是决定. For the past year she has sold a line of paints, painted furniture, 并在南查尔斯顿的Village Chic/Village Cup举办了研讨会. And while she was happy being a vendor, 今年7月,她注意到一位前同事的丈夫正在准备出售自己的公司.

“I asked her about it, 但我对购买它没有兴趣——我提起它只是因为他们已经经营了几十年, and I was curious about the direction they were heading next. However, her husband invited me to come check it out,” Johnston said. “我告诉他我会停下来看一看,但我没有能力购买. When I walked in the doors, I fell in love with the place. The house was built in 1902, was full of character, 而且维护得很好,在后面增加了一个天窗,让空间充满自然光线. 我可以想象在那里开一家商店,但不知道该怎么做. 那个周末, 我和Village Chic的老板坐了下来,谈话结束时, we had come up with a business plan. 她提供了她的零售经验,并联系了她的供应商,询问他们是否愿意参与. One after another agreed.”

约翰斯顿的最后一个难题是如何支付大楼的首付款. 她卖掉了她的车,绞尽脑汁想出了剩下的资金.

“I needed $35,000,” Johnston explained. “总有一天, 我在翻我的一堆邮件时,发现了一封信,信上说由于我在之前的公司任职,我被纳入了一个养老金计划,我可以选择套现. The amount listed, 更少的税, 剩下的钱正好是我付那栋楼首付的钱吗. That's when I knew it was fate.”

约翰斯顿喜欢她的新职业的社交方面,以及它与维滕贝格的接近, where she cherishes her college days immensely.

“I loved everything about my time at Wittenberg,” she said. “上高中的时候,我去学校拜访了一些朋友,之后我选择了它, and it just felt like home. Though it was in my hometown, 校园本身就是它自己的世界——如果我需要我的家人,我喜欢我就在附近, 但 could disappear into campus life the majority of the time. 那四年对我个人来说在很多方面都是挑战——那段时间是如此的形成. 我认为你直到很久以后才意识到维滕伯格身上的事情会对你的生活产生最大的影响. 当时,住在校园里对我通往成年的道路产生了巨大的影响. 现在, 我意识到它打开了我的视野,让我认识了来自世界各地的人, people with so many life experiences that were different than my own. 我意识到学习批判性思维技能对我的成长有多么重要,上一所写作密集型学校对我的职业生涯有多么有益.”

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关于 Wittenberg

维滕贝格的课程以文科为中心,作为一种培养个人思考能力的教育, 读, and communicate with precision, 理解, 和想象力. We are dedicated to active, 参与艺术和科学的核心学科的学习,以及以文科为基础的专业前教育. Known for the quality of our faculty and their teaching, yibo亿博体育拥有的俄亥俄年度教授比该州任何一所四年制大学都多. 这所大学在社区服务方面也得到了全国的认可, 可持续性, and intercollegiate athletics. Located among the beautiful rolling hills and hollows of Springfield, 俄亥俄州, Wittenberg offers more than 100 majors, minors and special programs, enviable student-faculty research opportunities, a unique student success center, service and study options 关闭 to home and abroad, a stellar athletics tradition, and successful career preparation.