Photos by TahJah Harmony.

10 questions with Hailee Outlaw of Dawson Street Boutique

As the owner of a new business, it can be hard to figure out a vision of where your store fits in among the rest. However, Hailee Outlaw, owner of Dawson Street, a boutique located on Highland Road, saw that as the perfect opportunity to bring a fresh perspective to the Baton Rouge retail scene–think of affordable and feminine pieces that make a statement, and you’ve got Dawson Street’s inventory.

Despite the fact that the boutique has only been open for a month, its already building quite the clientele among local women. Recently, we sat down with Outlaw to learn more about what we can expect to see stocked on Dawson Street’s shelves.

Hailee Outlaw.

1. What was the reason for opening the first Dawson Street store, and how long has it been in the works?

I’ve always had a desire to open a boutique but it never felt like that right time. Naturally, I was also terrified to put myself out there. It’s still really scary, to be honest. As cliché as it may sound, I finally pulled the trigger and just went for it. I was restless and knew I would never be content if I wasn’t pursuing my dream. Watching Dawson Street come to fruition has been incredible. A lot more goes into it than I think most people realize. It’s been months of hard work, but I’m blessed to have an incredible support system that I am so thankful for.

2. How did you get into retail?

I was introduced to retail at a really young age, actually. My mom owned a store that I spent a lot of time in while growing up. She still laughs about how interactive I was with the customers–picture a chatty toddler with thick glasses and a head full of tight blonde curls showing everyone all her favorite things. Some things never change … Ha!

3. What sets Dawson Street apart from other boutiques?

I’m a huge advocate for women supporting women. My team and I aim to create meaningful relationships and use fashion to uplift women and make them feel their best, most confident selves. A lot of heart has been put into Dawson Street, and the objective is for it to be more than just another conventional shopping experience.

4. What is one thing you think customers should know about Dawson Street that they may not be aware of?

My team and I love getting to know our customers and learning their unique styles. I think fashion is such a great form of self-expression, and that’s one of the many reasons I’m passionate about it. Most people’s personal style doesn’t fit into a single mold, and I feel like the store really projects that. That being said, I think Dawson Street has something for most everyone and our customer service can’t be beat. We also love special ordering items for customers that can’t be found anywhere else.

5. What is a typical day like for you and the store team?

As a new small business owner, no days are ever typical! I manage everything from social media content creation to unboxing new inventory to styling customers. It’s extremely important to me to be actively involved in the day-to-day activities, but there isn’t enough time in the day to do it all myself. There are so many facets to running a store, and I’m really blessed to have team of rockstars.

6. What are the first things customers see when they walk through the doors at Dawson Street?

The first things customers see when they walk through the doors at Dawson Street include Instagram-worthy displays, aesthetically pleasing fixtures, fabulous outfits and one of our team members greeting you.

7. How do you keep Dawson Street’s inventory fresh and up to date?

We stay on top of trends and attend various trade shows around the United States throughout the year to bring Baton Rouge the best of the best. We can almost guarantee that if you come in the store on a Monday and come back Wednesday, you’ll find something new and amazing. New inventory hits the floor daily.

8. What are some of your best-selling products right now?

Some of our best-selling products right now include coated jeans, dainty initial necklaces, neoprene bags, holiday sweaters and cocktail dresses.

9. Can you share a hint about what shoppers will see in Dawson Street this winter?

Winter pieces have already started trickling in, and this year’s trends are on point. You’ll definitely be seeing girly hair accessories, faux fur, ’80s inspired pieces and lots of leather. Think the resurgence of bourgeoisie decadence mixed with femme rebelle.

10. Lastly, if you could describe Dawson Street in 10 words or less, what would they be and why?

I’ll give you two: Effortlessly chic. We have a ton of easy, versatile pieces that can be dressed up or down while still being fabulous.

To see more of what Dawson Street has to offer your wardrobe, follow them on Instagram @shopdawsonstreet, or check them out in Highland Village Shopping Center.