Girls in Pearls Boutique Recognized by Business Council
For the City-Times
One Portage County business in the county’s business community was singled out for honors Friday, May 2nd at the Portage County Business Councils’ Small Business Breakfast. Over 100 people attended the event at the Holiday Inn Hotel & Convention Center.
The Entrepreneur of the Year Award was presented to Girls in Pearls Boutique, located at 1016 Main Street in downtown Stevens Point, WI. Girls in Pearls Boutique was selected from several nominees by the Business Council’s Selection Committee based on their:
- Growth and financial stability
- Dedication to customer service and community needs
- Personal commitment
- Innovative efforts to identify a market niche.
Girls in Pearls Boutique has demonstrated significant growth since opening their doors which can be attributed to customer support, an ongoing goal to provide exceptional levels of customer service, and being 100% locally owned and operated. Owner, Margaret O’Connor – Govett always had a dream of opening her own boutique, but put it on hold from several years as she was raising her 3 young daughters, was a part-time student and sole provider for her family. She grew up in a small farming community in Northern Illinois which once had a thriving retail downtown that she visited often. One thing she never wavered from was that she would open her own boutique in a downtown. Margaret moved to Stevens Point in 1991, worked at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point from 1998 to 2012 and instead of slowing down close to retirement age she decided to launch a business.
On September 7, 2012 her dream became a reality. Considerable time and effort went into planning her business, along with attention to detail to acquire the look and feel that she wanted for the store. Margaret credits much of her success from the considerable guidance provided by Mary Wescott from the Small Business Development Center at UWSP.
Every two or three months, Margaret goes to market in different cities around the country, using each one to bring a certain edge to her store. She researches product lines, explores new designers, and is always searching for that special something to bring to her customers. She strives to have the goods in her store constantly changing so her customers always have a reason to stop in to see what is new!
Her on-going commitment to the community is evident through donations, involvement and support to many organizations including, but not limited to the Portage County Business Council, the Portage County Back to Work Program, the Stevens Point Downtown Business Alliance, Boys & Girls Club of Portage County,
Community Industries, the Central Wisconsin Children’s Museum, the Humane Society of Portage County, several local churches, and many other fund raising causes.
“Margaret is a great mentor and advocates for small businesses in Portage County,” stated Karen Schanock, Director of Programs & Events for the Business Council. “We are glad she chose Portage County as the place to ‘make a difference’ – because indeed, she has.”
The Small Business Breakfast is an annual celebration of small business success across Portage County. The Portage County Business Council focuses in the areas of business, community, employee and student development to strengthen our area’s quality of life and business climate.