There are people on this earth who make your job easier without even trying. They are organized, accommodating, brimming with ideas, and open to lending merchandise for photo shoots. Curate Boutique’s Courtney PeGan Stevens is one such person for me. While her brick-and-mortar storefront closed in June, she’s keeping the momentum going with an e-commerce site, new shipments for fall, and a cool new blog. I asked her about Radiant Rogue, her favorite fall trends, and the admirable-as-hell passion driving her to pursue her dreams.
I was sad to see the shop close, but happy to see the website still up and running. What made you decide to keep Curate going online?
The decision to keep Curate going online was a decision to keep believing in myself and to persevere. I have always said that I can’t fail if I never quit.
Curate Boutique was my dream. I poured everything I had into it. The brick-and-mortar wasn’t working for me; it was so expensive and costs were rising. I knew that I would not be able to keep the brick-and-mortar store open, and it broke my heart. However, the thought of packing it all up and going back to my corporate life seemed like a disservice to myself and my dream. I did a lot of soul searching and had many discussions with my husband, my mentors, my trusted business advisor, and my friends. I couldn’t figure out if I was crazy or brave, but I just knew that I couldn’t be done with Curate completely. I guess only time will tell!
You have a blog! Your first post was awesome by the way, you’re a great writer. Why did you decide to start Radiant Rogue?
I took some time off in July to regroup and rest (our last day in the Hyde Park store was June 30th), and quickly realized two things:
- I hated having idle time; I longed to start building something again after what felt like dismantling my boutique. I needed to be inspired.
- During the last two-and-a-half years, I had dedicated so much of myself to Curate that I’d neglected most other areas of my life. I no longer felt well rounded or balanced.
Radiant Rogue is sort of my response to those two realizations.
I loved connecting with shoppers in store, and I wanted to preserve that personal connection in a digital way. I see Radiant Rogue as an opportunity to share my journey both personally and professionally and commit myself to finding personal balance again. I hope my story strikes a chord with some and inspires them to keep fighting for their dreams.
The blog tag line is “the stylish pursuit of a perfectly imperfect life,” but this is more than just a tag line to me. It is my mantra for this season of life. The blog definitely has a strong slant towards fashion, but it is meant to be about building a beautiful life to match the beautiful wardrobe. So you can expect to see topics that range from building your fall wardrobe to perfecting my grandmother’s zucchini bread recipe.
I am loving both the nod to ’70s style and Modern Minimalism this season. Both trends have an easy, effortless effect without being TOO trendy. This season, I focused on finding classic pieces with a little twist, higher quality fabrics, and fashion forward silhouettes. I wanted to start focusing on styles that were built to last, so I am really excited about this new direction for Curate!
Recently, I have also gotten REALLY into the idea of helping women build capsule wardrobes. A capsule wardrobe is loosely defined as a seasonal wardrobe limited to approximately 36-50 pieces of mostly high quality wardrobe essentials, plus a few seasonally trendy pieces that mix and match easily. The idea is that limiting the number of options in your closet doesn’t have to limit your personal style. In fact, most women find that they get more use out of favorite statement pieces, and it becomes easier to build stylish outfits each day. I love the idea that you can develop a stronger sense of your personal style, focus on conscious consumerism, and make getting dressed each day easier just by streamlining your wardrobe. Expect to see a Curate Capsule Wardrobe Style Collection coming soon!
Any future projects or events we should watch for?
Yes! I love Cincinnati, and I love being a local business so I’ll be holding monthly pop-up shops around the city so Curate’s loyal local fans (and new friends we haven’t met yet) can still come play dress up with me and try things on. Future events include the September and October City Flea, Holiday Market at Duke Energy Center in November, and pop-ups in September and October.
I am also scheduling in-home styling parties for friends and one-on-one styling sessions for any local Cincinnati ladies who are interested in shopping our collection in person at their own convenience. If you are interested, you can set up an in-home styling session by e-mailing me at courtney(at)curateboutique.com.
Where should people go to keep up with you and Curate?