Being fresh out of college with determination like no other, Leslie Rogers recently opened her new store Latest Wrinkle Boutique in downtown El Dorado.
Having just graduated from Arkansas State University in May, the 22-year-old entrepreneur decided her hometown would be the perfect spot for a clothing store.
“I thought, El Dorado is growing and why not be a part of that growth,” Rogers said.
The Latest Wrinkle Boutique first opened its doors just a few weeks ago on Oct. 4 during Main Street El Dorado’s First Thursday event, where downtown merchants stay open late on the first Thursday of every month.
Rogers said her vision for the store was to reach “the trendy working girl.” It was important that her store be clean, modern, sleek and trendy.
She also said it was important that she provide a variety of clothes, including clothes for plus size women.
“I wanted something for everyone, so I carry sizes small through 3X,” Rogers said. “I wanted people to come in here and be able to find something, because for curvy girls, it’s very hard to find cute stuff, so I want my store to be a place where they can feel happy and finally have a place to go shopping … I also wanted a place to bring my dog.”
The unique face of the boutique is Rogers’ 7-month-old French bulldog, Polly. Rogers said Polly was her graduation present and part of the inspiration for the boutique’s name.
Rogers said she was researching synonyms for words like fashion and trendy to come up with a fun name for her store. When she came across “latest wrinkle,” which is another phrase for the current trend or latest fashion, Rogers said she thought the name was fitting.
“I just thought it all tied together,” Rogers said. “My two passions: my dog (who has little wrinkles on her face) and clothes.”
When it comes to merchandise, Rogers said she provides a “variety of everything.” Inside Latest Wrinkle Boutique, shoppers can find tops, bottoms, dresses, skirts, jewelry and shoes.
“I’m trying to target the working girl so we have a few blazers, cute trousers, but we also have fuzzy sweaters for the girl that stays at home,” Rogers said. “We just have a variety of everything.”
When it comes to prices, Rogers said she wanted to stay away from the typical boutique stereotype of being too pricey.
“I really want this to be a place where everyone can come shop,” she added.
Rogers said she decided she wanted to open up a store at the end of July. She wanted the store to be open before MusicFest, which was only a few short months away.
The space the store is in needed to be completely remodeled, she said.
Rogers said her dad was a huge help with getting the store ready for the grand opening. Her father built the tables and fitting rooms in the store, plus much more. “We really just hit the ground running” she added.
At Arkansas State University, Rogers majored in business and minored in entrepreneurship.
“I knew one day I wanted to own my own business,” she said. “I didn’t know what kind of business, I just knew I wanted something where I could be creative and have fun every day and I’ve always had an interest in clothes and shopping so it all just fell together.”
Rogers said she was lucky to not have any student debt after college, “so this is kind of my student debt,” she joked.
“When I first told my parents I want to open my own store, they were like, ‘you’re so young, don’t you want to work for someone else?’” Rogers said. “I said no, I want to be young and jump in. So they said, ‘OK, you can do it. With that attitude, we’re going to help you,’ and they’ve been immense help. It’s been a fun family thing to do.”
Rogers said business has been really good since the shop opened. She said she was shocked at how many people attended the boutique’s grand opening.
“I expected a big crowd because I knew a lot of family and friends were coming, but I didn’t expect it to be packed,” she said. “It was really exciting to watch.”
She said since the grand opening, business has been steady.
“It’s been fun because I grew up here so I know a lot of the people, so it’s been cool seeing who comes in and I’ve been really excited with how it’s turned out so far,” she said.
Right now, Rogers hopes to have her website ready to launch by the end of the year, but her overall goal for the boutique is to see it continue to grow.
“Maybe in five years open up a second store,” Rogers said. “But overall, I just hope it does well.”
Latest Wrinkle Boutique is located at 104 E. Elm St. in downtown El Dorado. The store is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
Follow Latest Wrinkle Boutique on Facebook and Instagram at latestwrinkleboutique.
Kaitlyn Rigdon can be reached at 870-862-6611 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article has been edited to correct the times and days the boutique is open.