Traveling Chic Boutique opens brick-and-mortar store in Brookfield Village

Bobbi Jo Beers has already taken her show on the road. Now it’s time for the Traveling Chic Boutique franchisee to settle down into a permanent location.

That’s just what she has done at Brookfield Village, a new mixed-use development at the Four Corners area of Brookfield. Traveling Chic Boutique is the third business to open at Brookfield Village, following Subway and Rich Farm Ice Cream.

“I’m excited to be part of Brookfield and this is an exciting development,” Beers said. “When you see the streetscape, sidewalks, apartments … all the buzz. Brookfield is excited for a downtown district to happen.”

Beers, a Bethel resident and former Bethel Chamber of Commerce director, opened her Traveling Chic Boutique business in March 2016 and operated trunk shows out of a silver Airstream trailer. After spending about as much on vendor fees annually as rent would be, Beers decided it was time to plant roots with a 1,000-square-foot brick-and-mortar store. She will continue to do trunk shows out of her trailer, as well.

“It makes you think with everyone going online to shop. It’s risky, I won’t lie. But, for me, I built this to enhance the customer experience. I think that’s what a lot of people are looking for now,” she said. “I’ll have late hours and tend to all the little details. People can’t always find you when you are mobile. Now they will always be able to find me.”

Beers will operate the store with the community in mind. She will have special events, such as girls’ night out and Giving Tuesdays, whereby a local organization picks a Tuesday and as long as it brings in at least 10 people, 15 percent of total sales will go to that organization. The organization is also expected to help promote the event.

“Community has always been a big focus of mine,” she said.

Beers was the program manager last year for the Ridgefield Chamber of Commerce’s inaugural YEA program, an intensive course for young entrepreneurs. To continue her work with budding entrepreneurs, Beers will take on an apprentice each month. The apprentice will set up a table at the store with her products and be able to pick Beers’ brain about business and entrepreneurship. Beers will also make an investment in the company at the end of the month.

Traveling Chic Boutique will feature local designers as well as women’s clothing, shoes, jewelry and gift items curated by Beers on trips to New York City and other locations. Ridgefield’s The Rooted Plow has a display at the store with town-branded shirts and drinkware.

“It will always be different. That’s what will keep people coming back,” she said. “They know they will be able to find something cute and unique.”

Beers, with help from friends, did the build-out of the store herself. She designed it as “industrial chic with farmhouse pieces” to keep the mood casual and fun.

“I didn’t want people to walk in and think they can’t afford to shop here,” she said. “They aren’t coming here to buy a $300 blouse.”

The Traveling Chic Boutique will launch its own line of clothing in 2019. The franchise is bigger in the south; Beers has the only one in New England. Many of the franchisees in the south also have brick-and-mortar locations.

Beers said she also considered locations in Bethel, Newtown and Ridgefield, but drove by the Four Corners area in Brookfield last year and saw the completed streetscape and knew she had found the home for her store.

“This space was calling me,” she said.

George Walker of Advantage Commercial Realty, the broker for Brookfield Village, said a nail salon, hair salon and Italian restaurant are coming soon to the development. The nail salon will be next to Traveling Chic Boutique.

“It’s a good fit for her,” Walker said of Beers. “Foot traffic is really picking up in the area and she’s part of a good, solid mix of retail.”

To reach Traveling Chic Boutique, call 203-733-7406.

The writer may be reached at; 203-731-3338