Teri Carter, owner of Eco Chic Boutique, is approaching her one-year anniversary on South Walnut Street in downtown Milford. Teri, a mother of five, is a former Nurse from Milford Memorial Hospital. After having her second child she decided to retire and stay home with her family. Now that her children are in school full-time, Teri decided it was time to do something for her.
Teri’s primary focus was creating a business centered on living a healthy lifestyle through using eco-friendly products. Every item in the earth friendly boutique is either organic, made from recycled materials, fair trade, reusable, or hand crafted. The top selling items during her first year in business have been organic skin care products, natural cosmetics, and jewelry.
The decision to go organic was not a big leap for Teri. In the past, she bought natural products for her family but realized that with no local retailer she was always forced to purchase online. “With these types of items you really need to see and smell them,” commented Teri referring to her organic skin care products. This idea prompted her to open a local store where individuals in Milford could visit and experience the products first hand. Her prior experiences with running small businesses from her home have helped Teri operate Eco Chic with confidence.
Teri admits that “going organic” is not something that people dive into overnight. That being said, people are looking for ways to create healthier lifestyles for themselves and their families. Eco Chic is a way for people to get moving in the direction of becoming more earth friendly without feeling overwhelmed. “Most people want to be more conscious of how they are affecting the environment but want to take small steps in doing so,” stated Teri. Their facebook page affirms that they are an “eco-living boutique for the fashion-forward, environmentally conscious shopper.”
Teri is an unofficial liaison for the Downtown Milford Inc. as she encourages more fellow merchants to work with DMI. She also emphasizes the need to have high school students involved in local businesses by creating internships with local merchants in order to educate children about entrepreneurism. Leading by example, Teri has a student at Eco Chic who shadows her and learns the tools of the trade first hand.
Future plans for Teri and Eco Chic are expanding the store downtown and continuing to offer items for shoppers in Milford based on what they want. She has already starting to expand inventory by bringing in clothing. Teri also would like to eventually play with the idea of branching off into other downtown communities like Main Street in Newark at the University of Delaware or somewhere at the beach.
Starting December 2 Eco Chic will be joining other merchants downtown in extending business hours every Thursday in December; opening their doors until 8 pm. On December 3 the store will participate in the Holiday Stroll and will boast a bell choir to draw in customers.