Shannon Mills is a member of an extended Stephenville family that stretches back to her great grandfather who used to have a barber shop on the courthouse square. Mills opened her first boutique in Spice Village in Waco 10 years ago and her second store at 1913 W. Washington Street in Stephenville in 2011. Both are called The Blue Flamingo Studio. The local store was a hit from the start and is still going strong today.

Tell our readers a little about your store?

Weíre considered a contemporary juniors clothing store, but it crosses all age groups. We specifically target the college students, junior high, high school, college and young adults, but weíre really happy to have our soccer moms and professional people who come in mostly for jewelry, scarves and that sort of thing.

One of our most-popular features is our small discount area where customers can buy four items for $10 - things like jewelry, headbands and smaller items. Itís very popular for small gifts for quick little birthday gifts

How did you get into this kind of business?

Itís really what I went to college to do. I graduated from Tarleton in 2002 with a BS in human sciences in the field of fashion merchandising. Sadly they donít offer that degree anymore, but Iíve heard that they may be bringing it back. I really hope they do because it was an amazing program and it taught me everything I needed to know to run this kind of business.

You recently traveled to Honduras. Was that a business trip, a vacation or both?

Both actually. When I travel I always keep an eye out for anything local that I can purchase wholesale and bring back. Honduras was so interesting but I was surprised to see that a lot of the things that I liked were made in Guatemala, so Iíd love to go there next and tour off the beaten track in some of the small villages. My stores are very bohemian and we carry lots of beads and unique textiles and things like that. The things from Guatemala are so colorful with beautiful designs; I want to bring in more of those type of items.

The Blue Flamingo Studio will be having a one-week, pre-fall sale starting Saturday, Aug. 4, to move out summer items and bring in items for the cooler weather. Summer hours are Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday.

Call 254-918-0322 or visit www.BlueFlaminngoStudio.com.