August Customer Spotlight
Customer Spotlight

Great Tips from Successful Retailers

Hi, my name is Michele A. Panek. As the mother of two young daughters, I fully understand the glorious mess that is motherhood firsthand. I previously worked in finance at a law firm in New York, and I then chose just two months before the birth of my 2nd daughter to make the transition to another important career: stay-at-home mom for my two girls.

During this time, I began to do a great deal of research into natural and organic parenting, along with cloth diapering as a budget-friendly and eco-friendly alternative to disposable diapers. I also quickly discovered that the cloth diapers of today are not the cloth diapers of old - they are incredibly cute! Plus, they are quite easy to take care of. Our family soon dove into the world of cloth diapering. Our youngest daughter, and both my husband and I absolutely loved it!

As my love for cloth-diapering grew, I felt called to find a way to make these products available to other moms and soon to-be-moms in Bradford, Pennsylvania area. To share my own experiences as a mother and my knowledge of parenting, we opened The Fluffy Baby Boutique on November 1, 2016, with a classroom located next door for use as local mommy groups and play groups.

We then launched our online store in February 2017, in the hopes of continuing to spread the love of cloth diapers, natural parenting, and super cute and fun infant and toddler clothing!


SSS: Describe your proudest moment as a business owner?

THE FLUFFY BABY BOUTIQUE: Hands down, my proudest moment as a business owner was when one of my customers told me that she always loves visiting my shop because when she leaves, she leaves with a smile on her face from spending time with me! That’s how I want everyone to feel! If I can bring someone joy, then I consider that a successful day.

SSS: What are the new/existing challenges you are facing as a retailer/business owner?

THE FLUFFY BABY BOUTIQUE: Getting noticed and recommended online is an on-going challenge and learning experience. The world of search engine optimization is a plethora of confusion, and as a small-town mama trying to make a business work, it’s very challenging to grow the online store portion of my business.

SSS: What is the long-term vision for your store?

THE FLUFFY BABY BOUTIQUE: The intent of my shop has always been to create a hub for mothers of young children in my area, and to spread the love of the cloth diapering and natural parenting. I hope to provide not only high-quality products, but also a place where mothers and grandmothers can share their experiences and find ways to support one another through the glorious mess of motherhood.

SSS: What type of marketing works best for you?



SSS: When it comes to customer service, how do you keep your customers happy?

THE FLUFFY BABY BOUTIQUE: Customer service is of the utmost importance to me – my goal is always to offer a joyful and loving atmosphere in my boutique. It is my prayer that my customers always leave my shop with a smile on their face!

SSS: What is the most valuable lesson you’ve learned since launching your business?

THE FLUFFY BABY BOUTIQUE: I believe that my most important lesson that I have learned is that of the importance of loving others. Every mom who enters my shop has a story – and it’s my job to offer her an experience of love and support for wherever she is at in her life’s walk.

SSS: What solution/problem are you solving with our products and why? What are the results?

THE FLUFFY BABY BOUTIQUE: The main products I use from Specialty Store Services are the Barnwood Slatwall and all of the slatwall accessories (shelves, faceouts, etc). All of these fixtures help me to display my products in a manner of beauty, style, elegance, and functionality. I get MANY compliments from customers on the appearance of my shop, and my products from Specialty Store Services have aided immensely in creating an atmosphere of beauty for my customers. Who doesn’t love to shop in a store that is clean, crisp, and beautiful?

SSS: What are your favorite things you have ordered from SSS and how has it helped your business?

THE FLUFFY BABY BOUTIQUE: I absolutely love the look of my barnwood slatwall – it aided in creating exactly the kind of look and atmosphere in my boutique that I was visualizing as I designed the shop!



17 Kennedy Street
Bradford, PA 16701
Their classroom is located next door to the boutique at 15 Kennedy Street and is available for use to local mommy groups and play groups.

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