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If you've ever wondered whether happy hour can be productive, look no further than Anne Walker Miller and Joanna Bennett. The duo decided to open their boutique during a one such get-together, and the result was the seasonal pop-up You Are Here, which opened in late 2011. The store caught on, and is now open year-round, on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays on Fort Worth's westside. We caught up with them while—of course!—we tried on clothes from the $10 and $50 sales racks during the store's semi-annual sale.
What is your background in retail?
We both can't think of a time when we haven't been in retail in some way or another, from part-time jobs in high school, to managing boutiques, to designing jewelry, we seemed to always come back to retail. But working together in our very own little store is by far our favorite!
How did you arrive at deciding to open the store?
The idea to open our first pop-up came to us over happy hour one Friday night! We both felt there was something missing locally that we wanted to try and fill. After writing some key notes on a cocktail napkin, we got busy and six weeks later opened our doors Thanksgiving of 2011.
Talk about the store's unusual hours.
[We're open] Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 10 am-3 pm. Neither of us wanted to have to choose between having a store and spending time with our families and so [the hours] were what worked for us. We are so thankful that our wonderful customers get where we are coming from and appreciate it. We know that our hours are not the best for everyone, so we try to stay flexible and available by allowing things to go home on approval and even dropping things off at our customers' front doors! And we are always willing to meet people up here on a day that we are closed if that's the only time that week they can get in!
How do you choose the brands/styles you carry?
It is truly a collaborative process—mostly driven by our gut reactions to what we see. Ultimately, we buy what we would want to wear ourselves! We have brands that we have loved from the day we opened our doors, but we are constantly looking for new lines to bring in.
What's your favorite brand you stock?
That's such a hard one to pin down—if we didn't love it we wouldn't have bought it!
What will you carry this spring/summer?
We tend to stick to those warm-weather pieces that look great but still have a casual, cool vibe: cotton tops and easy dresses, white jeans, of course, and great wraps for the beach and pool. We have a couple of new lines coming in that we are really excited about: Giada Forte, Lemlem and K. Jacques sandals, as well as fabulous pieces from some of our long-time favorites like Koch.
What stores do you like to shop at?
Ninety percent of what we wear comes from You Are Here, of course, but when we are in New York, we love to take a spin through Barneys, hit the shoe department at Saks, and Joanna can't resist an opportunity to drag Anne Walker through H&M!
Any plans to expand your store? How many square feet do you have?
We absolutely have grand plans and lots of dreams to expand beyond our current 1,000 square feet, but for now, our focus is making sure this store is the very best it can be.
What's your go-to outfit?
Both of us always seem to land on a great pair of jeans, the perfect tee and a well-tailored blazer. While each of us may be simple in our choice of clothing, we have lots of fun with accessories and that is where our individual style and personality shows through.
What do you wear on the weekends when you're hanging out at home?
Being moms to young ones (Joanna has two boys and Anne Walker has two girls) our go-to weekend outfits are all about comfort and ease but still pulled together. This chilly winter, we have both been living in our Mou boots, cozy sweaters and Diana Garreau scarves.