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May 18, 2020

Embracing the Unknown and Finding the Fun

Business Banking
Options Boutique Banner

Libby Dagostino purchased the Littleton consignment shop, Options Boutique, in July of 2019. Prior to buying the store, Libby had been a Residential Counselor at a school for students with behavioral issues. The daily emotional drain of her career coupled with the passing of her father, prompted Libby to explore what the next chapter of her life would look like.

A native of Littleton, Libby is no stranger to Options. She worked there as a teenager and then on and off throughout college. Libby knew she wanted to stay local and find a job in her supportive and close-knit community. Purchasing the shop, where she had worked for so many years, felt like coming home. However, this “leap of faith” as Libby called it, was not made on a whim. She meticulously mapped out all the pros and cons to buying the shop.

There was no doubt, Libby had a deep-rooted connection to Options, but she was also nervous about the financial, physical and emotional investment necessary to make it all happen. “I have suffered a lot of loss and a lot of struggle, this hasn’t been the smoothest path for me to get here”, Libby explained. She didn’t want to make a mistake and jump into something that she would soon regret. Moving forward required digging deep to find the courage and confidence to go through with the purchase.

As a lover of clothes, art, and music, Libby promised herself she would use the shop as a creative outlet and invite people to come and be silly and quirky. One major perk of owning your own store is control of the daily playlist. “Who wouldn’t want to be able to listen to the music they love all day”, Libby joked.

After just eight months of running Options and really “hitting her stride”, everything came to a crashing halt. Being forced to shut her doors when the pandemic hit was incredibly emotional for Libby. How could she have predicted that on her list of pros and cons for opening a store, she should have included a pandemic?

It felt like another loss, another misstep and Libby openly discussed how defeating this was for her. Purchasing the business took so much strength and now Libby was faced with that same emotional battle to find the courage to persevere and overcome the challenges Covid-19 presented. Through her struggle, she remembered something her dad used to tell her when she was anxious about a situation. “Ok Libby, how are we going to make this fun?” And that is just what Libby set out to do. Find the fun, find the joy, find the creativity.

Libby knew she had to embrace what she was passionate about and #StayTrue to her original reasons for buying the shop. It was time to turn up those jams, be silly, be quirky and find that fun! Instead of feeling down about not having customers, she needed to see it as an opportunity to make the shop her own and explore other ways to reach people.

Building a website became a priority and Libby said she couldn’t have started out on this endeavor without tapping into the expertise of neighboring businesses and loyal customers. “People were reaching out to me on a daily basis, offering advice and help.” Libby also took advantage of the empty store and decided now would be the perfect time to repaint the walls and hang artwork, which includes some of her father’s pieces. Finally, Libby poured her creative energy and sense of humor into her social channels. In times like these people are looking for levity and laughs, so Libby has come up with innovative posts to keep her customers engaged. A huge hit was her post on the #businessmullet -business on top, pajamas on the bottom.

Now Libby is looking towards the future, planning her Grand Reopening, which may include everything from karaoke nights to “sip and shops.” Thank you, Libby, for sharing your story about how you tapped into your entrepreneurial spirit to overcome hurdles and #StayTrue to yourself and what’s important to your community.

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Northern Bank is a full-service bank dedicated to providing practical, common sense financial solutions to help our customers live their lives and grow their businesses. From deposit products to loans to payment and collections services, we work hands-on with our entrepreneurial customers, both locally and across the country, to provide the financial support they need to realize their personal and business goals. Founded in 1960, Northern Bank has assets of $2.87 billion with 13 locations serving communities throughout Middlesex County. Northern Bank is a Member of the FDIC, and an Equal Housing Lender.

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