Sometimes, things just pop up out of thin air.
That was the case with Hannah Dinkel’s pop up shop. “Hannah Katherine Boutique” at Troy University’s IDEA Bank.
Dinkel, a freshman business management major from Prattville, owns hannakatherineboutique.com, an online clothing retail store. She opened up her pop up shop leading in to the TroyFest weekend.
“We sell all of our products online,” Dinkel said. “Pop up shops are pretty common for online businesses. But, you usually see them around the holidays for holiday markets. I’ve been thinking about doing one for a while, and I want to do a lot more in-person stuff in the future.”
Dinkel said she had a lot of on-sale merchandise as well as specialty bracelets, necklaces and facemasks at the pop-up shop. She said she needed to clear out some of her winter inventory to make room for new summer fashion trends.
Troy’s IDEA Bank is a center for both student and community entrepreneurship, and Dinkel’s business has its roots at the IDEA Bank.
Dinkel said she’d always wanted to start an online boutique, and had come up with a business plan for hannakatherineboutique.com. But, she said there was a lot about starting a business she didn’t know.
Her friend, Allie Asbury, also a Troy University student, had gotten an email from the IDEA Bank about student-owned businesses and passed it along to Dinkel.
“I came in and presented my business plan and business strategy, and a few weeks later, I got a call saying I had been selected,” Dinkel said.
Troy University’s Small Business Development Center is also located in the IDEA Bank. Dinkel said the SBDC was able to help her with everything from business licenses to taxes.
“I had a business plan and a business strategy,” Dinkel said. “But, there was a lot I didn’t know about how to start a business. Vickie Sipper helped my with all of that. I also had a lot of help from Tara Morelock. I would not have been able to do this without them.”
Dinkel said she opened hannakatherineboutique.com in October, and business had gone a lot better than she expected. For the long-term, Dinkel said she wants to continue to grow her business.
“I’m a business management major, and I don’t know where that will take me in the future,” Dinkel said. “One day, I would like to have my own in-store boutique. But, all that’s in the future. I’m still learning. But, I know hannakatherineboutique.com is something I will always keep and grow.”