by Anna Wright
photograph by Two Eagles Marcus
Only ten months after opening Sydney’s Boutique, 25 year-old Kristian Grant knew it was time for a change. “I really wanted to connect with a new client base,” Grant says of her future Eastown location, “It will really open up Sydney’s to people who haven’t been able to see what we have yet.” Sydney’s current location is in the heart of the inner city, though that’s done nothing to slow down the success of the boutique and it’s steady stream of loyal customers. “I never planned on opening up a boutique this early in life, but the space kind of fell into my lap so I decided to just go with it,” explains Grant. And it’s a good thing she did.
Sydney’s, named after Grant’s 8 year-old daughter, is known for the versatility of its separates. “Our main goal is to have pieces that are flexible, stuff you can wear to the office and then out at night too,” says Grant, “since not every woman has time to go home and change.” With clothes made for the woman on the go, “the pieces work for you, not the other way around.” They cater to women of all sizes, from petite to plus-size, and to all types of budgets as well.
The boutique came to be when Kristian was searching for a Grand Rapids office for her Lansing-based nonprofit mentoring business, REEAL. When funding for the Grand Rapids REEAL office fell through, she used the already acquired space for her clothing boutique. “I figured that everything happens for a reason,” explains Grant.
Delighting people is just one of the things that inspires Grant, and as a member of the ITT Tech Business School Committee and the City of Wyoming Community Development Committee, helping people is too. “I’ve always been really blessed to have really powerful women be a part of my life and set a great example,” explains Grant enthusiastically. “My parents always made sure that I was around really strong female role models that didn’t mind putting a lot of time into me.” Her grandmother has had a particularly strong presence in her life. “She really showed me how to work and think,” adds the entrepreneur. “Though she only had a seventh grade education, she showed me the power of common sense and how to get things done.”
Being an entrepreneur, single mom and philanthropist sure isn’t an easy job, but someone has to do it. “I try to include my daughter when it comes to the business, getting her opinion and also asking her about her own future goals,” explains Grant. “I try to make sure that she is inspired, and has an understanding of everything that’s going on.” As for her philosophy about fashion and beauty? “It’s not all about what’s on the outside. People get way too caught up on how a person looks, but if you’re not beautiful on the inside too it really doesn’t matter,” tells Grant. “Everything I do is about trying to make the inside better, and then bring it out.” Inspiring indeed.
Sydney’s is located at 1479 Lake Drive. The Grand Opening coincides with Fashion’s Night Out on September 6th. For more information on Sydney’s Boutique, visit http://sydneysboutiquegr.com/shopsydneys/.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Anna Wright is a budding writer, yoga and music enthusiast. With a deep interest in culture of all kinds, she loves all things art, nature, and travel. She’s also obsessed with small fluffy dogs.