AROUND TOWN: Squash Blossom

Although I enjoy the occasional trip to Lenox’s Neiman Marcus, I prefer to shop small. As a college student, it is more difficult for me to individualize my look than it was in a high school with 110 people in my graduating class. Thankfully, we have small businesses like Decatur’s Squash Blossom to help us incorporate unique and quirky pieces into our wardrobes. Squash Blossom’s manager, Talia Blanchard, was congenial enough to give me the details on her boutique.

Name: Talia Blanchard

Role: Manager, Squash Blossom

CollegeFashionista: What inspired the name of your boutique? What is Squash Blossom?

Talia Blanchard: Squash Blossom is two things. The first thing it is is a Native American ornate silver, but the way it came about as the name of my store is that it was a Ralph Lauren paint color that I loved the name of. A lot of the store’s character is very natural and Bohemian. We do a lot of tribal and Native American prints.

CF: What is it like working with your mother?

TB: My mother taught me everything I know. She owned this store in Philadelphia when I was growing up, and I worked there when I got older. She is my mother, my mentor and my soul mate.

Overall, it has its challenges, and it has its benefits. I love being able to see my mother everyday, and we’re very lucky to have such a close relationship. While there are always those challenges of being sometimes too close, I think that we had a strong relationship going into it, and it’s even stronger now after 15 years of business together.

CF: What advice can you give someone who aspires to open a boutique of their own in the future?

TB: Business classes. I was an art major, which definitely helped me aesthetically with my store, but if I could do it over again I would have taken as many business classes as I could have. Really, the aesthetic part of it—while it is the most fun part—is the part I spend the least doing. Most of my time is spent doing the books and the payrolls and the taxes, which you learn the hard way if you don’t learn somehow. Experience in retail is also super helpful. You need to be a people person and extroverted. You also need to hire well.

CF: What can customers expect to see in Squash Blossom this spring?

TB: A lot of open back and flowy pieces. Tribal prints will still be going strong, and jewel-toned colors typically thought of for fall are going to carry through to spring. Neon is out and jewel tones are going to stay with us. Also, denim is coming back.

Learn More: Be sure to shop small this semester and incorporate some bohemian pieces into your wardrobe! Squash Blossom is located on 113 E Court Square in the City of Decatur.