Fashionista Sara Murray brings flair to any venue when she showcases stylish clothing and household ensembles from her boutique, Fancy That! For the entrepreneur, running any successful retail business is every bit about producing an exceptional customer experience as managing the critical bottom line.
She and her daughter, Amanda, work together to embrace fashion trends, sport their chic inventory, accent with eye-catching baubles and seize every moment to mesmerize clients and prospective clients with accessories they will love. Doubling their creativity in vision, power in merchandising and spot-on fashion sense, the pair effortlessly reveals just how specific adornments might work for shoppers in their own homes and wardrobes.
Sara Murray embarked as a teen on her 33 successful years in the Arizona retail trade. Her professional enthusiasm emerged during internships while she was in high school. Murray earned a degree in interior design from Scottsdale Community College.
She chose small business environments throughout her career because “learning and doing all kinds of things” appealed to her adventuresome spirit. Trained by doing assorted tasks ranging from working with purchase orders to unloading trucks and pulling fabric swatches, she also conquered the Los Angeles Fashion Mart. Well-respected as the only 21-year-old employee, she was entrusted with overseeing one business when the owners were not present. She lived and breathed retail operations from the ground up.
When the time was right for Murray to finance her first Fancy That!, the bank laughed at the 24-year-old entrepreneur. The decision-makers were not keen on retail inventory as collateral. Already having saved $10,000, Murray refinanced personal property for another $10,000, and was offered her final $10,000 from grandparents. From that $30,000 kitty, she attended her first Fashion Mart as a business owner and spent $20,000 on inventory for the new store. Carpet, signage, counters and props were bought with remaining funds.
After multiple fruitful years in the Valley of the Sun, the family moved to Prescott in 2003. The local Fancy That! was born. Never one to settle for anything ordinary, Murray opened the Prescott store on a Friday, the 13th of September. Happily, that date cast no unlucky charms on the business.
Later, when a building across the street became available, they opened it as an annex. Murray’s husband, Dan, father to Amanda, also works in the business.
Amanda Murray was exposed to the fashion industry as a newborn. The family stopped at the store post-delivery on the way home from the hospital. As a young child, she accompanied her mother on buying trips. Amanda reflected her mother’s work ethic and love of fashion. She holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Grand Canyon University.
The Murrays have worked hard over the years and triumph has followed. One key to their retail success, they say, is engaging friends and customers in marketing the business. Everyone is encouraged to post or like tidbits on social media, where they have a popular Facebook page. Word of mouth also is appreciated. Some have modeled an outfit or two for promotional cameras.
The good fortune of FancyThat! is also shared with give-backs to the local community. Setting trends of their own, the Murrays have supported non-profits such as The Launch Pad and Acker Night Musical Showcase.
No matter the season, locals and visitors can find what strikes their fancy in the Murrays’ collections. QCBN
By Sue Marceau, QCBN