Wichita native and entrepreneur Alexus Scott, owner of The Boutique 5 and Bridge+Grace Management Consulting, uses her unique combination of experience, knowledge, and resources to help other minority designers grow their businesses.
A large part of Scott’s business model has been her partnerships with other women- and Black-owned wholesalers to feature their products in the boutique. She believes minority designers in Wichita need a platform and retail space that champions their creativity while providing an opportunity to expand their customer base.
“ Partnering with Alexus has done great things for my business. Not only does Boutique 5 offer more visibility online and in-store, but it also provides credibility for when I want to take my business to the next level,” said Victoria Sebastian-Walker, owner/creator of Heaven Scent By Victoria.
“If you’re a new entrepreneur looking to apply for Target or Hobby Lobby, you can’t answer that ‘I’m selling out my living room.’ They’re not going to accept that. So, I realized that by contracting local designers to sell in Boutique 5 I opened up a door to potential business and solved a major problem for them,” said Scott, a Wichita State University Strategic Communications graduate.
Scott says minority entrepreneurs often hesitate or fail to start their business due to the lack of access to networks and information that – can help them make optimal business decisions. Her management company, Bridge+Grace, was established to help Black designers bring their business ideas to life while ultimately serving as a launchpad for their brands.
“Black entrepreneurs often either start things and we don’t finish them, or we start things we don’t have the proper certification for, and therefore we run into other issues later on,” said Scott. “I try to help entrepreneurs, especially those that are new and minority, flesh out their ideas and figure out what legal needs they might have,”
Scott created The Boutique 5 in early 2020 as an online stationery and petite gift business run out of her living room. The idea for the company began as a passion project, since she always wrote in journals as therapy and a safe haven.
After much thought and prayer, Scott took a “leap of faith” on her growing business, and quit her job as financial aid advisor at Wichita State to pursue entrepreneurship full-time. On April 16, 2021, her passion came to life, when The Boutique 5 storefront opened at 612 E. Douglas Avenue in Suite 200, Wichita.
The Boutique 5 has grown to offer a large retail product selection that ranges from skincare to paper goods and gifts to custom-made stickers and journals. The storefront allows Scott, and her team, to provide in-house custom printing, cutting, and design services that cater to her expanded clientele base of corporate offices and large wedding parties.
“It has been a huge learning curve coming from online-only to a storefront. Working online, you have more freedom to work at your own pace rather than having set hours every day and making sure you have staff to cover them,” said Scott.
Despite her success, Scott said that as a young Black business owner, she’s experienced several challenges, one of the most significant being the storefront location.
“ Black businesses in Wichita typically don’t come downtown, and I received a lot of hate for not wanting to open a location in other areas. I’m very intentional about my decisions, I want to go where Black people aren’t always invited,” said Scott.
Scott, a Wichita native, puts uplifting the Black community in Wichita and serving God as the binding core of her entrepreneurial spirit. When she isn’t wearing her business hat, she spends her time as a campus preacher at Powerhouse Church.
All of The Boutique 5’s products are available for local delivery and nationwide shipping. Visit them online at https://www.theboutique5.com/ or locally at:
612 E. Douglas Ave Suite 200 within the Shops at Gallery Alley,
Tuesday – Saturday 11 a.m.- 7 p.m.
Here are some of the best-selling products at The Boutique 5: