In 2019 Brookelyn Smith was runner-up in the Grace College Business Plan Competition and received $3,500 to kickstart her business, b. marie. Smith’s business plans have come to fruition and she will hold her first pop-up boutique event on Saturday, March 14, from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. at Whitko High School, 1 Big Blue Ave., South Whitley, Ind. b. marie offers a selection of formal gowns at affordable prices with a constantly rotating inventory of new, gently loved, and up-cycled creations.
“Brooke was a joy to have in class, and she is proving to be a highly-motivated businesswoman who will go far with b. marie. Her business idea is solid and offers a niche market within the clothing industry,” said Dr. Alan Grossnickle, associate professor of business at Grace and Smith’s academic advisor.
Smith graduated from Grace in December of 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in entrepreneurial business and a master’s in business administration. “My time at Grace gave me the educational resources I needed to start a business, a community that encourages me to try, fail, and get back up again, and life-long friends who support my dream,” said Smith.
“Growing up, my grandmother taught me how to sew and helped me design and create my own prom dresses,” said Smith. “She often talked about her desire to create dresses for women who couldn’t afford them, and I found myself sharing the same passion as I grew older,” she added. “Most women wear a formal gown–such as a prom dress–only once, but dresses are meant to be danced in more times than one. Instead of sitting in a closet for years, I offer women a discount on a b. marie gown when they bring in their once-loved gowns,” Smith explained.
Now, only two months out of college, Smith is a business owner, and her dream to help women feel beautiful is becoming a reality.
b.marie is partnering with the Whitko High School prom committee to bring her pop-up boutique to Whitley and Kosciusko county students. Smith plans to bring her boutique to more communities as prom season begins. For more information about b. marie or to find out about upcoming events, email email@example.com or follow b. marie_shop on Instagram.
The 2020 Grace College Business Plan Competition will take place on April 2 in the Manahan Orthopaedic Capital Center. More information will be announced soon.