“She stands tall.” When a twenty-something hears those words, they resonate. I have to believe that when any woman hears those words, regardless of age, they still resonate. These words along with a specific set of core values are what sparked Planted True (launching at 9am CST for my early readers!), a boutique and lifestyle brand curated by Karen Hatcher in Panama City, FL. A family business that made the transition from brick and mortar to solely online remains focused on their mission of creating a comfortable space for women to shop and find clothes that promote confidence.
When I first came across the Planted True Instagram, it was the visually pleasing feed that caught my eye. But after months of following their content, I realized they were so much more than a boutique offering a mix of highly sought after brands in conjunction with their own lifestyle brand, rather I discovered Planted True is a movement through a team focused on uplifting one another and their community. This is so evident in their deep family roots upon which this brand is built. I had the opportunity to sit down with Karen to discuss the future of Planted True and learn more about this mission upon which this brand is mounted. Here’s her take and insights on building, growing and sustaining Planted True.
C: What inspired you to start Planted True?
K: I was inspired to start Planted True after my mom passed away in 2014. I had always wanted to own my own store, and actually had a business plan that I had been writing for several years. When my mom passed, it was a pivotal moment in my life. I took a leap of faith and decided it “was now or never.”
C: Please explain a little bit about your core values as a boutique and how you came to establish this foundation for your brand.
K: Our core values are pretty simple, actually. Be kind to others. See beauty in everything. Stand on your convictions and beliefs. Be true to yourself. Stay CURIOUS.
Working in retail for many years, I learned a lot about not only myself, but also women in general. We are our own worst critics. But every woman is beautiful and many times, she just doesn’t FEEL beautiful for whatever reason. Planted True’s values incorporate a message of basically living life in a positive way and reinforcing the good in yourself and other women.
C: With the recent transition of Planted True to online only, can you share about the pop up shops you’ll be integrating into the community moving forward.
K: We are partnering with other local businesses to showcase our lifestyle brand. Our first pop up was at Blasted Media. Sarah from Blasted Media has been instrumental in helping me design our styles. We have some other things in the works at the moment as well!
C: What does a day in the life of the Planted True look like?
K: Never the same.
C: Your use of Instagram is #goals. How do you accomplish the curated feed that aligns perfectly with your brand values?
K: Thank you. It’s pretty simple because I don’t do it- haha. Seriously, I don’t manage the Instagram. Actually, when we first started, I called it “Snapagram.” My then 16 year old daughter started it for me. She knew Planted True’s Vision and what it needed to communicate to align with our goals. Now, Jessica (check our her Instagram here) runs it and she is in the twenty-something age category. It’s important to empower people to do what they do best. Trust me, if I was running it, it would not look like that. I can take no credit for that.
C: Describe your personal style in 15 words or less.
K: Relaxed and comfortable.
C: What are three closet staples that every woman must-have in her closet?
K: A little black dress, a pair of classic black stilettos and a pair of comfortable jeans- jeans can always be dressed up or down.
C: What’s your favorite part about operating your business on the Emerald Coast?
K: Being a part of a smaller community that is eager to support local businesses.
C: Words of advice for other boutique owners, aspiring entrepreneurs and social media mavens?
K: Stay curious- about everything. Be willing to learn from people. I have learned many things from people much younger than me and people who are NOT boutique owners. Find your own niche and then find people who will help you create your vision. Surround yourself with people who know more than you and be willing to learn.
C: Who has been the most influential person as you’ve built, sustained and watched Planted True grow?
K: Tiffani. Tiffani is my niece. Essentially, she is the day to day of Planted True. My right hand, my left hand. She’s “that” person who will always have my back. I’ve made plenty of mistakes, and will make plenty more. I’ve made plenty of bad decisions (whether it was a “bad buy”, or just a bad idea). Usually, those “bad” ideas speak for themselves by either not selling or simply not working. Tiffani has a way of coaching me through those situations so I don’t beat myself up over those bad decisions. I am able to simply move forward and “let it go.” I still struggle with letting things go.
As you can see, this boutique is so much more! As today marks the official launch of their new website, I wanted to shed light on the heart behind this brand that speaks so deeply to all of us. Rooted in the ideals of being kind, staying curious and standing tall are the key reasons I love this brand so much. If you haven’t had the pleasure of shopping with Planted True before, I hope you’ll check their new website out and follow along on social media (request to join their group on Facebook, here). I promise you’ll be more inspired for doing so!