An online business created to help fund a family’s adoption has led to the opening of a brick-and-mortar boutique in downtown Springfield.
Jocelyn Piper said, “Fashion has always been a passion of mind, and when we were in the process of adopting one of our sons, we needed a way to fund the adoption. We had just finalized our first adoption, so we didn’t want to turn around and ask people for more money.”
She said she connected with a clothing wholesaler who was able to walk her through the steps of how to get started, and Piper + Arrows Boutique was born.
“We’ve actually been in business for a little over three years, but I’ve mainly been online and doing pop-up shops,” said Piper.
However, Piper is now looking to the future and hoping to provide workforce training for her son and other individuals with special needs, in addition to being able to grow the business.
“Our son has some significant special needs; we wanted to create a place where he could grow and learn how to work,” she said. “He’s 13 now, and he can help with setting things out and folding. But this will be something sustainable for him for the long term.”
Piper said she had always dreamed of having a location downtown but wasn’t sure it would be feasible due to the expense of renovating a building. Then she heard that Seth and Ivy Molen, owners of Brick City Apartments, had a turn-key space for rent at 627 E. Adams. The Molens purchased the building in 2019 with the intention of renovating it, and the tenant at the time, The Cardologist, relocated later that year as they began the process of gutting the interior.
Having a physical location to help grow the business will also help Piper with her goal of assisting other families who are pursuing adoption. “We exist because of adoption,” she said, “and because of what a blessing it was to us, we use a portion of the proceeds every month for a sponsored family.” Piper + Arrows Boutique’s website includes an “adoption shop” page where 100% of the proceeds from sales of selected merchandise are earmarked for specific families.