Today we’d like to introduce you to Tracy Westmoland.
Hi Tracy, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstories.
It all started about 9 years ago from a mock-up I had to do in cosmetology school of what I would like my future salon to look like. I have always had a love for both hair and fashion and I wanted to bring together the best of both worlds under one roof. At that time I wasn’t sure how long it would take for me to accomplish it, all I knew was to take it one day at a time and keep moving forward. I had been doing hair pretty much all my life and prior to me attending Cosmetology School I actually had an online boutique called Gallery Of Glam.
Online boutiques were a new thing at that time but it was one up-and-coming boutique at the time called Tinka’s Closet (now called House Of Tinks) that really inspired me to give the online boutique thing a go. It was successful, however at that time my children were very young and I was suffering from postpartum depression and was having a hard time juggling 3 small children, a teenager, and the demand of the online business as it began to take off. So I decided to close my online store but kept a list of all the wholesale vendors that I was using because I knew one day I would give it another try. That other try didn’t come until almost a decade later.
About 4 years ago, I had gotten my own salon Straight Off The Press. And about a year after I got my own salon, I decided to take a small corner in my salon and sell a couple of women’s clothing items. I also set back up my website online at www.straightoffthepressstl.com. Everything was a success! So I decided to get a little 700 sqft space that was less than 5 minutes from my salon space for the boutique. After I would finish at the salon I would go open the boutique. It was hard but I made it work. Then shortly after opening the boutique, the pandemic hit. I was forced to close my boutique and salon temporarily.
And that was tough. I decided to let go of the boutique space and moved it back into my salon. Two of the stylist I had left so I decided to give the clothes more space at my store. This was one of the best decisions ever. From that, I was able to relocate and expand into an almost 3000 sqft space that now houses my boutique and 4 salon suites.
Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It definitely has not been a smooth road. The pandemic really threw me off. I wasn’t sure how long I was gonna be closed. I also ran into some bumps when I decided to relocate because my buildout for the new space took longer than expected.
And during that time I didn’t have a place to work as I had already closed my salon. So I was sitting spending a bunch of money on the buildout and making no money back.
Great, so let’s talk business. Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
Straight Off The Press is a women’s clothing boutique and salon suite.
We carry sizes S-3XL and we seek to find and carry trendy exclusive pieces. Our boutique definitely gives you a taste of luxury once you walk through the door from the sexy aromas of Mahogany Teakwood’ to the floor plan that resembles a high-end clothing store.
Our salon is best known for the Silk Press Service that we offer which is one of the most quality Silk Presses one could ever have. We are proud of how WOWED people are when they walk into our store and add icing on the cake to be a minority woman-owned business.
In terms of your work and the industry, what are some of the changes you are expecting to see over the next five to ten years?
Well, I think that ad far as the salon side, you will definitely see more salon suites and fewer salons. People love the benefits that come with leasing their own space. I think the retail portion is forever changing. You just gotta keep up
- Website: www.straightoffthepressstl.com
- Instagram: Straight Off The Press