Year One: Check!


Owning a small business is, well, busy. You look up and a year is gone. But for Lainey LaRue at Lolo Boutique in downtown Spokane, this wasn’t just any year: the calendar turning to 2016 also represented the first full year of owning her small business. So it was a somewhat surreal moment when, in the midst of a major expansion and the holiday retail rush, the upcoming anniversary dawned on Lainey and her husband Denny.

“We’ve been just so focused on the build-out to include Lolo Home.Gift [in the former Vintage Hill Cellars space next-door],” Lainey said, “It sort of snuck up on us.”

When you realize you’ve not only survived your first year as a small business, but that you’ve carved out a unique space in the local shopping scene downtown, it’s time to pop bottles and celebrate. So this week, that’s what the LaRues are doing.

Like any local retailer, there has been some ups and downs. “One challenge has been getting our buying patterns dialed in as far as what, when, and how much to buy," Lainey says. "But that’s to be expected, and it’s really been a year of more highs than lows.”

The recent expansion probably represents their major high point. On a recent visit, I could see the pride/joy/blood/sweat/tears that went into the new space, including stylish product tables hand-built by Denny. Lolo Home.Gift offers new guests a place to explore, especially those who wouldn't normally find themselves in a women’s clothing and accessories boutique. With gifts, candles, wall art, novelty books, coffee table books, and much more, it’s definitely worth a look for those who may not fit into Lolo's former customer demographic.

The LaRues like to celebrate with customers, so part of the celebration is a big ol’ anniversary sale (20% off storewide January 4-9, with selected items up to 70% off), so head on in and join the party, Spokane.