B. Boutique navigates the pandemic through technology

Three generations of service is what you get at B. Boutique. Arlene Mackay, Jenny Becker and Emily Becker show off some of the styles offered at the high end fashion and beachwear store in Cannon Beach.

B. Boutique owner Jenny Becker didn’t let a pandemic get in the way of connecting with her customers in Cannon Beach, thanks to some innovative marketing and the help of daughter Emily Becker.

The COVID-19 restrictions led to far fewer visitors in town, so Jenny closed the boutique’s doors on March 21. But that didn’t deter the mother, daughter and grandmother trio who run the business, which sells high-end fashion, beachwear and clothing for all generations.

In less than a week, Emily rebuilt their website to include a sales side, not just a place where customers could look at the latest clothing arrivals.

“Emily is our tech guru, and in four days she rebuilt our site with a sellable side to it,” Jenny said.

“As soon as we launched the site, we’ve been busy ever since. It’s like owning a second store, and has given us the opportunity to stay connected with our customers.”

Emily helped launch other online offerings as well through social media platforms which, according to Jenny, are generating sales. “We use Facebook and Instagram and email to connect with our customers,” she said.

“It’s been exciting, because we see and hear from our customers from all over the country.”

Emily said Instagram is very popular with their customers. But it takes some work to keep it fresh and make it a fun experience. “We add to our Instagram story all day long, then post things at the end of the day,” she said.

“It’s been really fun to work with Instagram posts, because we can post video or pictures depending on what we want to do. And it’s been very popular with our followers.”

Another online platform the entrepreneurs have embraced is their Facebook Live shows. According to Jenny, they host shows every other Wednesday. A show lasts one hour, with her as its host.

Emily shows clothing and accessories, and even models some items. She also answers questions that customers have during the show from posts on Facebook.

Arlene, Jenny’s mother, acts as the store’s stylist and support staff. So the business is truly a multi-generational effort.

“It’s a lot of work prior to and after a show, but it’s worth it,” Jenny said. “We’re very busy setting everything up, and very busy afterwards getting the product out the door and shipped to our customers.”

So far, they’ve hosted two live shows and according to Jenny, they make 30 to 40 sales during the event.

On May 21, when restrictions on visitors to Cannon Beach began to lighten up, Jenny opened the brick-and-mortar store to walk-in customers. For health safety reasons, only six customers are allowed in the store at a time. The Beckers offer free face masks to any who need them.

They also suggest to customers that they try on only those clothing items they’re inclined to purchase. All clothing not sold is steam-cleaned and let stand for 24 hours.

“We’re not negative at all about the pandemic, we try to keep it fun,” Jenny said. “We have a sanitization station right at the door we’ve glammed up a bit, made it look cute, so customers feel safe and welcomed.”

Meantime, they plan on keeping Instagram and Facebook Live going moving forward.

The store is located at 232 N. Spruce St. in Cannon Beach. For more information, call the Beckers at 503-436-1232.

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