With a keen eye for style and a warm smile, this lady opened up OPM Boutique, one of the chicest stores in the Twin Cities. Susan and I first met six years ago when I was a fashion stylist scouting for an editorial photo shoot. I was immediately drawn to the clean design of her store, the beautifully curated collection of designers and her incredibly sweet personality. Check out our behind the scenes interview with Susan to see why she is the epitome of a style guru. How did you get into the fashion industry? Business practices have always been in the back of my mind, I started making paper money and playing storeowner when I was 5. I would hire my cousins as bubble manufacturers and gave paper money to my brother to buy from me; I earned self-satisfaction from buying and selling.
For women’s apparel, I started out with selling personal items back to Taiwan when I was a student at Carlson School of Management. After a while the business kept me so busy and my dorm was full of inventory with shoes stacking almost all the way up to the ceiling and completely under the high-rise bed. Eventually I rented a warehouse to store inventory so I coule get some space back in my apartment. Then, my husband got a job in Atlanta, GA, so we moved south for a while and I started to make shopping my job, since going to the mall scouting for new inventory is my everyday must-do. After a while, I realized there’s only so much I can buy quantity wise from stores, why don’t I just buy it directly from vendors? That’s how I started OPM, I want to present why I love shopping to people in Minneapolis.
How would you describe your personal style? Edgy and classy- I love modern classics with an unexpected twisted.
Describe your OPM customer? The loyal OPM woman is active, outspoken, fashionable but not too trendy. She dedicates time to her family, friends and her passions in life. She invests wisely in timeless pieces that speak to her personality.
What style tips do you have for us? Invest in a good pair of dark wash skinny jeans; they go with almost every style of top and shoes. Lately, I am obsessed with the glitter gel polish- it reminds me that I am glamorous anytime.
What adds pep to your step? Meeting new people and making connections. Connecting the dots between what people want and what we can provide. Getting people to try things out of their comfort zone and seeing them actually loving it, seeing the style transformation that slowly happens as people shop at OPM. Last but certainly not least, seeing the reality of the vision I have while at market buying for the store.
How do you spend your free time? You can find me in my garden spending time with my three young kids. I grew up in Taiwan where green spaces are very limited. I simply enjoy getting myself dirty and sipping sparkly lemonade after I am done.
What have you learned about yourself and life, thus far? Dream big but take every step carefully.