Nicole Cummens, owner of the Pomp & Chic Boutique in suburban Orland Park, says that the shop was her “pandemic pivot,” but after a local real estate company offered to cover rent for a deserving applicant, it became something even more than that.
“I started it in the middle of the pandemic from my career that was well-established prior to the pandemic, but I was faced with a different set of problems when my kids never went back to school, so as a single mom I had to figure out how I was going to supplement my income, and make it happen,” she said.
Cummens partnered with one of her dearest friends and started the boutique in her basement, never dreaming that a brick-and-mortar store in Orland Park Crossing would be part of their business plan.
Then Edwards Realty came into the picture.
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A small business itself, its president wanted to cover the rent for the most deserving applicant, and Pomp & Chic beat out more than 30 other entries.
“I am really humbled by this experience. It’s really exciting,” Cummens said.
“We thought, how can we help with our resources and not do the same thing as everyone else was doing,” Ramzi Hassan, president of Edwards Realty Company, said.
Now, on the eve of the shop’s grand opening, the owners say that they are ready, prepared to offer an inclusive space for all women, and a tailored shopping experience they could never offer from their basement.
“We want to get to know people,” shop co-owner Victoria Wisniewski said. “We want to develop relationships, we want them to have a good shopping experience.
As the shop opens, the women say they have another goal: to find other women who are small business owners, and to help highlight their materials by carrying them in the store.
The store will open its doors for the first time at 10 a.m. Friday.