Fashion, Friendship, and Finding Community with Katie Higgins and Elise Arango
Aimee and Emily meet with Katie Higgins and Elise Arango, the founders and owners of Vintage Hope, and talk about becoming friends through their children, going into business together, and supporting mental health struggles.
In this episode, Aimee, Emily, Katie, and Elise cover:
Becoming friends and forming a bond
Starting with a t-shirt business and expanding into a boutique
Understanding the importance of authenticity and honesty
Supporting and caring for their community
Expanding and collaborating with other businesses
Connecting as parents, friends, and business partners
Katie and Elise met in the preschool pickup line waiting for their children to get out of school and they’ve been fast friends ever since. They consider themselves to be meant to be friends due to their similar passions in fashion and their shared experiences with mental health and with raising special needs children.
“We’re so different, but still so similar. We mesh where we mesh and we check each other when we need to check each other.” – Katie
Seeing the potential of their own boutique
From humble beginnings as a t-shirt design company, Elise and Katie quickly realized how drawn they were to the idea of owning their own boutique. With style to spare and passion in massive volumes, they set out to form Vintage Hope and to give moms a chance to express themselves in simple yet gorgeous styles.
“That really opened our eyes to style sessions. It’s not only selling clothes, but creating collections.” – Elise
Talking about mental health and special needs
As they’ve grown as friends and as business owners, Katie and Elise have found comfort and community in sharing their own journeys with parenthood, special needs, and mental health. Their goal is to provide their customers and community with an opportunity to be supported in everything they may be going through and to find resources to help them in any way.
“What I have learned through sharing my story is that there are so many people that need to know that they’re not alone.” – Katie
Rallying the community during COVID-19
Like many other business owners, Elise and Katie nearly hit the panic button with the emergence of the global pandemic last year and had to pivot how they do business to keep themselves safe. Channeling more effort into online and social media, Vintage Hope continues to thrive as a staple of the Fort Bend community.
“We very quickly realized that we needed to be something more than just a clothing store.” – Elise
Say hello to our sponsor for season two, The Development Corporation of Richmond.