About Us

Hello! My name is Laurie J. Bennett and I have been an entrepreneur most of my life. I had lemonade stands as a kid, worked hard in my Aunt Mary’s boutique when I was eight (I pretended I owned it) and since my mid twenties, I’ve owned and operated so many different types of businesses it would make your head spin. Suffice it to say, I love everything about owning and operating my own business.

This is my beautiful Family – Left to right (son’s gf Janelle, son Nick, daughter Riley, Me & my beautiful mother Jean). We were standing in front of one of our fixer properties in Montana. Husband was taking the pic 🙁

Here is a rough timeline so you can see what I’ve been up to:

  • 1989 – Graduated from USC Business School with a Bachelors of Science in Entrepreneurship
  • 1991 – Opened my first retail boutique called Laurie Weir
  • 1992 – Purchased my first rental property as a fix and flip (only I ended up living in it a few years)
  • 1995 – Opened three more women’s apparel and accessory retail boutiques
  • 1996 – Sold my first fixer property & used the profits to purchase a larger, second fixer property
  • 1997 – Opened a Cold Stone Creamery Ice Cream Franchise (waay too much work)
  • 2001 – Sold my ice cream franchise and boutiques to relocate from California to Montana
  • 2001 – Created the openaboutque.com website and consulted with thousands of people to open “brick and mortar” stores
  • 2002 – Opened a jewelry boutique called Nick and Riley Jewelry (on ebay). Sold it for a tidy profit
  • 2002 – Began buying fixer properties in Montana with the profits from my online business
  • 2005 – Purchased a hair salon. (Didn’t love the drama so sold it for a tidy profit)
  • 2006 – Opened a vending machine route and really didn’t make any money with this – closed it
  • 2002-2010 Lived in Montana and ran my openaboutique.com ONLINE business & managed my real estate
  • 2013 – Opened a truck servicing business that was not my passion so sold it to someone whose it was
  • 2015 – Purchased my first blog; BusinessOpportunities.biz and had more fun making money online
  • 2017 – Purchased a shopping center in Surprise, AZ that I own and operate
  • 2018 – Purchased a weight loss recipe blog called Slapdashmom; which I still own and have fun with
  • 2020 – Purchased a travel blog Whereverwriter.com; 2 weeks before COVID hit & everyone stopped traveling. (Man was my timing horrible but thankfully the traffic has come back)
  • 2020 – Present…continue to run my online boutique business Openaboutique only the world has changed and so have I. Today I help people turn their passions into online boutique businesses
  • P.S. I also continue to invest in fixer properties because I absolutely love doing it. That, and the tax advantages I get from the depreciation, make owning real estate very worthwhile. If you want to take my quick course on investing in real estate (primarily fixers but not always) and learn how to stop paying so much income tax, check out that course here.

Me and my husband David the day we opened our Cold Stone Creamery in Calabasas, CA.

As my chart shows, I opened my first retail ladies clothing boutique in Tarzana, CA in 1991. It was called Laurie Weir (my maiden name) and I can not tell you how fun it was to own and operate my own store. It was truly my passion so I threw myself into every aspect. From buying to selling to managing to cleaning – I really just loved it all.

People, over the years, asked me what I thought my secret to success was. I don’t think, I know, it was that I loved it so much that nothing about it felt like work. I showed up every day, worked hard, sold lots and made a really great living – I was happy. One day I can remember unpacking the boxes of new merchandise, tagging and steaming the items and having my customers so excited to see what was new they couldn’t wait until I got the items ready. I had sort of a secret thrill and couldn’t believe I was able to do that for a living. I still remember that moment to this day.

One of the most important lessons I’ve learned in this life is that if you want to get ahead, you need to own a business. I’ve heard a lot of guru’s say this but in watching some friends get ahead, and others not, I have learned it is very true. That is something I’ve never understood about the education system in America. We teach kids how to read and write, and do a little math, but we don’t teach them how to set up a business or how to make money to survive and support their families. We just turn kids out at 18 and hope the find their way. I think we should do a better job of teaching, everyone who wants to know, how to open a boutique online.

Me With Husband & Both Kids in 2022

Here’s the thing. I went to a great business school. Thanks to my beautiful mom, I had a terrific business education but still it did not teach me everything I think I need to know to actually start and run a successful business. A lot of it I had to go figure out for myself. I made a lot of mistakes over the years and paid high prices for some of those mistakes.

The world has changed so much since I got my start in retail. I had to spend almost $100,000 to open my first boutique in the 1990’s and that was considered cheap. I used my credit cards to buy some of my inventory (do not ever do this) I just had no other way to fund my startup. I had to sign a lease on a commercial space and guarantee I would pay the landlord $5000 a month for 5 years. I had to hire, train and manage sassy sales people and trust them not to steal from me. Sadly, some still did.

Looking back, I think I must have been crazy to take on so much risk. But that was how we had to do it. There was no such thing as the internet or an online boutique. But that has all changed. Today you can start your own online business for a few hundred dollars and a weekend. That is amazing!

Many years ago I was listening to a morning talk show and the host was interviewing some internet billionaire. Unfortunately, I didn’t catch his name but his words changed me forever. She asked him what he loved most about his online businesses and he simply said, “It’s just so easy to start a business online. I don’t understand why everyone doesn’t have one.”

Me and my daughter Riley – Circa 2014

That’s when it hit me. People don’t have them because they don’t know how to create them. I honestly set up my first online business in 2001 myself. It was a single page website, extremely rudimentary, but it did the job. I added a Paypal button to the site and connected it to Payloadz. When someone purchased my training program, Paypal collected the funds and Payloads delivered the content. I thought I was brilliant!

Today, however, while things are easier in some respects, a lot of the technology is much more complicated. And there are so many different types of technology (and it changes so fast) it is confusing, overwhelming and has caused me to stop in my tracks so many times I can’t even tell you.

Things like:

  • There are so many platforms, which one do you use?
  • What type of online business should you start?
  • What will you sell?
  • Where will you get your inventory?
  • How much inventory do you need?
  • What will you name your online business?
  • Where should you register your domain name and why?
  • How much should you pay for a domain name and hosting?
  • Can you build your website yourself or do you need help with technology?
  • Who can you hire to help with the tech stuff?
  • How will you market your new online business?
  • Who do you call when you get stuck?

So I started working. I set my mind to create a course to make it crazy easy to set up your own website in a weekend. I teach you exactly what platform to use, where to get your domain name, how to choose a good name for your business, how to narrow down your passion and pick the perfect business for you and exactly how to get your business set up and running right away.

I teach you a step by step course so you don’t have to worry about getting stuck. You can rewind and replay as much as you need until you get it. And it really is so much easier than you think it is.

I have so many years of experience and I’ve put absolutely everything I know into my How To Open A Boutique – ONLINE course. I can promise you, if you dedicate yourself for a few solid days, you will be up and running in your own online business in no time.

Best of luck to you and let me know if you have questions.