By Whitney Black
Senior year can prove to be difficult with homework, tests, plans of the future and a bad case of “senioritis,” but Kali Vermeulen didn’t let that get in her way of starting a business. Last semester, she opened an online boutique called Neapolitan Sisters Boutique.
Vermeulen is a seventh semester graduate and officially opened her business on Nov. 15, 2018. Starting her business took months of preparation, including research.
“Google was my best friend. I had a stack of about 10 note cards with tasks on them. I carried them around with me everywhere. Each note card had a certain thing I needed to do by a certain time to be able to open. I had long nights, worries, doubts and fears, but I didn’t let it help me stop,” Vermeulen said.
Vermeulen enjoys fashion and came from a family of entrepreneurs, which is what helped inspire her to create Neapolitan Sisters Boutique.
“Most of my family members are entrepreneurs. Seeing them starting their own business is what really inspired me. Their support is really what helped inspire me to start it as well. My parents never thought I was crazy for wanting to open my own boutique so I really think that helped. They supported me and I have a family of amazing women who share a love of fashion,” Vermeulen said.
Vermeulen also has challenges with running her business. However, she works hard to overcome these by continuing to prove her doubters wrong.
“The most difficult thing is probably getting my name out to the public. Also, the fact that I’m so young, so that makes things really difficult because you’re always going to have people doubt you,” Vermeulen said.
Vermeulen is active daily on her boutique’s Instagram page and has even hired models to showcase her clothing. Sophomore Kaylee Denham is one of the models for the boutique. The models are an important part in promotion for the business.
“I help promote the business by posting on every social media platform that I have, posting pictures of me modeling in the clothes,” Denham said.
Senior Lucy Sullivan has purchased a few items from Neapolitan Sisters Boutique. Sullivan likes the way Vermeulen asks followers on social media what clothes they like, unlike stores who buy on trend.
“I like this boutique more than the average retail store because the average stores have whatever they think is the trend. She asks her social media followers what they like and buys for that,” Sullivan said.
Sullivan encountered no issues when purchasing online from Neapolitan Sisters.
“My experience overall was great! It was easy and the checkout was easy. She gives you the items in a cute bag and writes your name in a fancy way and adds an inspirational quote,” Sullivan said.
Neapolitan Sisters Boutique is currently online only and for now, Vermeulen plans to keep it that way so she can have lower and affordable prices for all. Neapolitan Sisters also offers plus size items. Check out Neapolitan Sisters on Instagram at neapolitansistersbtq or visit neapolitansistersbtq.com.