As I walked through the heart of the small town of Mason, Michigan, and opened the door of the cozy boutique on the corner street, I was immediately greeted by a smiling face and a sign that read “Be You tiful.” The modern but rustic look of the store had an immediate homey feeling that welcomed all its guests. In addition to the décor, the clothes hanging on the racks surrounding me were just as gorgeous as this charming boutique paradise, owned and managed by Cori Thackery.
Her love for fashion began back when she was in high school, tearing out pages of the September Vogue to hang on her walls. Upon graduating, she received her master’s degree as a K-12 reading specialist and began a teaching job. While working, Thackery began selling clothes and jewelry to her friends. “When I first started, I had two different styles of sweaters that I sold and thought, ‘I’ll buy these sweaters, sell them and then I’ll reinvest that money,” she explained.
After her second child, she took a leap of faith, turning her small business of selling sweaters to her friends into an online clothing shop, Sweetlees Boutique, with a larger demographic of customers ranging from teenagers to women in their 70s and 80s. After the abundant success of her clothing sales online, she opened a warehouse on Cedar Street before moving into her current brick-and-mortar shop in downtown Mason.
The clothes in her store are a representation of Thackery herself and engulf her passion, creativity, and ability to choose items in which customers feel and look their best. Her passion for clothing has played an enormous role in the success of her business, and it’s visible in the way she talks about her satisfied customers.
“I love seeing how good a woman feels when they have clothes that fit them right. It does so much more than just help your appearance; it makes you feel good on the inside,” Thackery said.
As the boutique continues to grow and solidify its place in the community, Thackery plans to start designing her own clothing to put in the store. While she continues to set new goals for the local business, her store serves as a constant reminder to take a leap of faith and do something that you’re passionate about.
“I’ve met so many people through this opportunity and have many customers that have become close friends. It’s just so much more than selling clothes; it’s a whole experience. I love it,” she said.