A Fitness Boutique

Good morning, friends!

It is raining and a bit chilly here today. I'm enjoying a second cup of coffee this morning before I head over to Starbucks for a third while I work on some stuff for work.

I posted on my personal Facebook account this morning to the public, "Make sure you follow BAR Fort Smith on instagram! (@BARfortsmith)" ... then I realized, while I have plugged my store endlessly on all outlets of social media, I'm not entirely sure I've come right out and said what BAR Fort Smith is!

So, I'm going to tell you a little bit about it.

BAR Fort Smith is the product of one crazy conversation with my partner/bff Nikki. "We should open a boutique together!" "oh yeah! That'd be so fun!" ... a few months later, here we are, tons of paperwork, location finding, market going, learning as we go. It has been super fun and I can't think of a single person I'd rather experience this with.

So, what makes us different from the other dozens of local boutiques? We're specifically a fitness boutique. The proper term is athleisure, athletic + leisure wear, but fitness boutique helps people know straight away what we are. We are starting small, in a small space in Mama Says Emporium, simply because we're doing this all on our own. We worked to get our startup money. We don't want to be in debt to anyone or credit anyone but ourselves for our work. Kristie Anderson is the owner of MSE and she is an amazing person. I knew her "before" BAR, and I am confident in her abilities and so thankful for her being right there with us. Mama Says is at 315 Garrison Avenue if you're ever downtown. We're not the only boutique in there, and you'll find so much great stuff there!

Eventually we will bring in more casual fashions but right now we're focused on serving the River Valley gorgeous, affordable, high quality gym clothes.

"But Kandice, you're not a fitness model and you don't even workout every day. What makes you think you can advertise gym clothes successfully?"
I'm so glad you asked! As a busy mother, sometimes "single" parenting while my husband travels, it is not always easy for me to get in a workout. And sometimes its not always my priority (though it should be) to eat "clean" or weigh everything for "IIFYM." However my health is a priority and if there IS time, I do workout. Sometimes Nikki & I run, sometimes we lift, sometimes I lift with my husband. When our schedules allow, I always make it to yoga (with Stacy Dilley at Momentum Dance Concepts in Van Buren, Wednesdays at 6pm or Fridays at 8am, don't miss out. She's great and her classes are wonderful). I know what its like to be bigger than I want to be, I know what its like to be a work in progress, and I know what its like to be at my physical best and loving my time in the gym or pounding the pavement. THAT is why I know the fitness industry and loving fashion is a huge plus. I'll make sure you're dressed to feel your BEST while you're working on looking, feeling, and being your best. You'll be breaking PRs in no time, because when you feel like you look good, you do better, and you're more motivated. Just like putting on make up for some girls... putting on gorgeous active wear pushes you harder in the gym! I know it makes me feel better and that is another reason I'm so excited to open BAR with Nikki. I know that I will wear our product and I will feel so good, and motivated, to keep pushing.

We went to market last weekend and it was the best time. I actually will post about it once I have the photos uploaded to my computer from my iPhone, and when I have a bit more time. We had a blast going through hundreds of vendors looking for the perfect pieces. I love every single thing we bought. We are working day after day to make things perfect for our opening. I have always been blessed by my husband to pursue what I want to do, because he has always taken care of us. This is something I'm doing on my own. And that makes me even more excited, and proud, to be opening this store.

If you're still reading, I applaud you! Thank you for taking the time to learn a little bit more about BAR Fort Smith. We are so excited for the adventure ahead. We have huge dreams for our store and for our future. There are so many things we will bring to Fort Smith over the next few months and the next few years (hopefully!). I believe in shopping small and supporting local businesses, and I am so proud to now be one of them.

Stay tuned for more great things from us. I love planting roots.

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