BY JEN OLENICZAK BROWN
Folks are constantly looking into hobbies or passions as potential side hustles. A “side hustle” is something you do on top of your full-time job. It’s generally something you enjoy and possibly brings in some money. For a few people, this side hustle becomes something very successful and replaces the shadow of the other job. Whitney Boger’s Swanky and Swag might have been born out of a side passion and hustle, and she may have combined it with her full-time profession, but one thing is for sure – its tremendous growth shows that it’s definitely more than anything on the side.
“I started my first hair salon in 2005 in the Lewisville Corners shopping center at 23 years old. That salon was Bangz Hair Studio,” said Boger, “As hair styling is my passion, I have always had a niche for something more. I love being crafty with decorating and designing, so I started making earrings.”
While Swanky and Swag started in 2017 with earrings, it’s now a creative mashup of a hair salon and boutique. For those of you dreaming about your own brick and mortar adventure, it didn’t make that jump immediately – Boger was selling out of a mobile boutique in 2018 – a 1972 vintage camper – doing vendor events all over the Triad selling bags, jewelry, clothes and more. “This mashup concept is super popular in the Deep South,” said Boger, “And I’m so excited to have brought it to my hometown of Lewisville.”
Over the past year and a half, the boutique has grown tremendously. Aside from a web presence and free shipping throughout the US, Swanky and Swag has been adding popular brands to their shelves, as well as a Facebook Live event to connect with customers. “While stepping out of my comfort zone, this has been key to connect with our shoppers and let them know we are real people,” said Boger, “And how thankful we are for their choice to shop small business!”
Community is not the only thing that helps Boger continue to run a busy salon and boutique – her co-stylist, Jessica Myers, has been in the industry for 15+ years and started when the doors opened for Bangz Hair Studio in 2005. The boutique is looking forward to adding many new lines in 2020. They recently added Bogg Bag, a fan favorite. “It’s a sturdy and super durable bag that you can take to the beach, ball games, picnics, vacation and anywhere!” said Boger. They also carry Sheila Fajl, Myra bags, Freyr’s eyewear – and if you aren’t a clothes person, they carry jewelry, Pinch Me therapy dough, safety gear like pepper spray and alarms, hats and more. There’s also a protégé for Boger’s earring design: her daughter, Paisley, sells her earring designs in the store and donates $2 per pair sold to a local animal shelter.
The feeling of Swanky and Swag is exactly what you’d expect: similar to a trip to your closest girlfriend’s house, and Boger is the reason behind the vibe. “I love what I do. It’s definitely not easy, but I have met so many wonderful people, whether it’s behind the chair in the salon or putting together an outfit in the boutique,” said Boger, “I love making people feel good about themselves. When shoppers come in, we want them to feel as if they have walked into their best friend’s home – welcome and open!”
Visit Swanky and Swag at 1313 Lewisville Clemmons Rd, Lewisville, NC 27023, Tuesday through Friday from 10 am – 7 pm and Saturday from 9 am to 4 pm, Closed Sunday and Monday. For more information, visit ShopSwankyandSwag.com or call 336.778.0111.