Main Street’s across the U.S. are home to family owned businesses. Whether they are just starting out or have been in their Main Street for years the one thing they have in common is their love of the feeling that comes from being on a Main Street. Downtown areas and Main Street’s have a unique feeling to them, it is why people flock to them spending their Saturday morning’s at Farmer’s Markets or strolling brick paved streets after brunch. Main Street’s feel like a community and that is no different for Leslie, owner of Sincerely Yours who has been in downtown St. Cloud for 14 years.
I met up with Leslie in her boutique in January to sit down and talk about her business and some insider tips on how she has made it 14 years in downtown. If you’ve never been in her shop and love bold patterns and lively colors then what are you waiting for? Leslie’s shop is trendy, bright, and has staple pieces that are cute and functional.
My name is Leslie Chapman and I came here when I was eight years old. I was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I’ve lived in Central Florida all my school years then I married a cattleman who was born and raised here making him a third generation cattlemen. After I got married, I went to we live on the ranch, the cattle ranch is down toward Kenansville. We raised four kids, and when all four kids were married, I decided to try the retail business when a friend offered her line of Vera Bradley to me if I would just buy her merchandise and start a business.
I started in downtown St. Cloud at the very end of 2010 so we have been down here for 14 years. I love downtown’s all across America. I think they’re really special in that that’s where the heartbeat is. It’s also nice to be a business owner and be associated with the other businesses in downtown. I love the people that come downtown. I think, like me, they just have a heart for downtown and they want to support downtown. It’s a good feeling to be downtown, to be a business owner and to get connected with the people that believe in their downtown.
I love all the downtown events. The monthly markets have been wonderful and we get real excited about those. I get really excited about meeting new people that come downtown and look to see what’s downtown and and discover this wonderful Florida line of clothing. Every lady that purchases from us loves this line of clothing and I have new styles coming in the line and new people moving in the area.
I love my team that work with me. They’re seasoned, they’re polished, because they’re all retired. We love our retired ladies, but they really know how to help the ladies. They are amazing women that back me up and they love working here. So when you love what you do, it has a reflection on your sales and the people that come in. So I’m really glad to be in this situation where I love working.
Leslie was a phenomenal host for this interview and if you haven’t been into her shop she is right on New York Avenue. After the interview I walked around her store and she had some phenomenal jewelry pieces that would be great for Valentine’s Day coming up.