The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus

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The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus

Signal

The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus

Signal

Community Spotlight: CSU Stanislaus student opens downtown boutique

Courtesy+of+OneSixteen+Bijou

Courtesy of OneSixteen Bijou

For most college students, juggling a social life, classes and work is a difficult task. But running their own business would be an even tougher feat. Mikayla McSweeney, however, isn’t your average college student. At age 21, McSweeney recently opened her own store in downtown Turlock, OneSixteen Bijou Boutique. Located at 116 West Main Street, OneSixteen Bijou offers stylish clothes and accessories for women of all ages.
McSweeney originally began as the jewelry vendor for Bella Forte Boutique, located just down the road from Onesixteen Bijou. As Bella Forte’s success grew, McSweeney began to help select their entire inventory and realized it was something she truly enjoyed doing, so she decided to open her own store.
“I’ve always liked fashion. I’m always trying to keep up with what’s hot, but have it at a better price,” McSweeney said. She travels to Los Angeles twice a month in order to keep the boutique stocked with the latest trends, and also orders from online vendors as far away as New York. She describes the boutique’s style as “modern bohemian,” but truly takes pride in how unique every piece in the store is. McSweeney explained how it is that distinctive quality which gives OneSixteen Bijou the edge over its competitors.
“The difference between what I offer versus, say, Target is that I have one or two of each item. Whereas when you walk into Target, you’re going to see 15 other people in the same thing.”
Since OneSixteen Bijou’s opening on Feb. 7, business has been booming. McSweeney attributes the boutique’s success to her large following on Instagram. The boutique’s account @onesixteen_bijou has over 3,500 followers, and the number grows daily. Pictures of clothing and other items available at the boutique are posted on the account daily. McSweeney also takes orders from followers.
“If someone comments on something that they want, I’ll ship it to them,” McSweeney said. She does not plan on starting a website though, since there are only a select number of most items at her boutique.
Any success story has its share of difficulties, and Mikayla McSweeney’s is no different. Her first major setback came right as her journey began: taking out a loan to get her business started.
“I did this all on my own,” she said. “It’s a lot of responsibility to take on, especially at an age where most kids are away at school.”
McSweeney is part of the Extended Education program at California State University, Stanislaus and must find enough time during the day to attend both her classes and her job. She works in the boutique during the day and goes to class at night as a Business Marketing major.
Despite the stresses of both school and managing her own business, McSweeney recognizes and appreciates just how rewarding her job can be.
“The best part is seeing people out wearing my inventory. It’s rewarding to see that people enjoy and are excited to purchase something from me.”

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Community Spotlight: CSU Stanislaus student opens downtown boutique