Faces of City Ave: Sue Ellen Zhang, Boutique Bespoke
Meet Sue Ellen Zhang, owner of Boutique Bespoke on Bala Ave.
Stop by her store and shop exquisitely handcrafted accessories & beauty products.
What made you open Boutique Bespoke?
- I’ve always had a dream of opening an accessories boutique. I opened one about 11 years ago but it was unsuccessful. I decided to try again, using all of the lessons and knowledge I’ve learned along the way. I am confident this next go-round will be successful in more ways than I could dream.
What is your role at Boutique Bespoke?
- I currently take care of all aspects: daily operations, customer service, inventory, vendor acquisition and much much more.
Before working at Boutique Bespoke, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?
- I used to work the overnight shift as a cocktail waitress at Harrah’s Philadelphia. I enjoyed meeting new people every night and joining in the excitement when customers were winning. The variety of personalities that came in was also quite interesting to see.
How has Boutique Bespoke helped you in your career development?
- I continue to learn a lot about behind the scenes aspects of running a brick and mortar retail space. There are a lot of areas to consider, even on such a small scale. I have also started to think about becoming an employer. It is a bit scary but exciting to know that I can help provide opportunities for others to learn, grow, and earn an extra income.
What are 3 words to describe Boutique Bespoke?
- Unique. Fresh. Diverse.
Any favorite line from a movie?
- Right now it would have to be “I have no idea what you’re talking about Alexander Hugo a.k.a Chop Shop Alex” LOL. My husband and I have four children so we’ve watched all of the Cars movies way more than any parent should. I often use this line when my family is on the 1,000th question of the day!
Do you have a favorite quote?
- Treat others how they would like to be treated and at the very least, treat them how you would want to be treated. Happiness is contagious so I try to spread it as much as possible.
How do you define success?
- I define success as reaching a point where I feel content in all areas of life. I think success means understanding what brings happiness in life and pursuing those things. Success, for me, is not the accumulation of material things but rather the happiness I experience in my soul.
What book did you read last?
- The Body Keeps The Score, by Bessel Van Der Kolk. I am also a practicing psychotherapist so I enjoy learning as much as possible in order to help my clients attain happiness.
What do you always want to try and never did?
- Skydiving. I’ll wait until my kids have all grown up before I take the plunge but I am definitely looking forward to it!
Is there anything special about City Ave that you can share?
- I truly appreciate the diversity of businesses and people on and around City Ave. One can find almost anything they need at a moments notice and it’s difficult to get bored with lunch options, even for myself!