Sarah Hough &
Gifts that look expensive

Introduction and Background

When Sarah was 8, she asked her mom if she could open a jewelry store next to her mother's beauty shop in Cocoa Beach, Florida. "The rent is too high", she said to her business minded daughter. Sarah made beaded friendship bracelets. "Growing up I always had a desk with my own stationery and office supplies and enjoyed writing letters and playing store," Sarah confessed. "I had an aunt who owned a gift shop and was inspired by her pizzazz," she says.

Sarah Hough had three mothers by the age of twelve. Since her father had custody from the age of three, life with two subsequent step mothers before junior high had its ups and downs. You always hear about children of divorce, but it's rare for a child to experience multiple parental break ups.

The experience gave me a completely liberal, anything is possible non conventional outlook on life or it turned me into a dreamer. My father played drums in a rock band. I've always had a constant stream of ideas and a love for reading but underestimated my ability to do anything with those aspirations until now.

Then, years later, Sarah went out into the real world with little directions from the three moms. Still, she never knew what she was good at until her late twenties and is a strong believer of knowing one's gifts. Later she met and married her English sweetheart, and lived in the UK for a few years. "This is truly the time I found myself," she admits. She discovered she was a good writer. "I had been told this before but never paid attention and I also loved the way the English decorated their houses and gardens. I also learned to love vintage and antiques and when I worked for an interior design magazine enjoyed going to home shows, markets, and scoring bargains" she confesses. With a passion for antique and consignment shops, Sarah wondered why there wasn't a way to link them all together. "How wonderful it would be to find flea market finds from my favorite shops while sitting in my living room." This is still an idea she is toying with. Her main passion, however, is owning a successful online boutique that features gifts and accessories that only look expensive!

When her family relocated to the United States, she vowed to take the person she had grown into in England with her to Florida. It wasn't easy. Eager to get back in the rat race, she accepted a sub par job working at a pharmaceutical marketing company. On many occasions, she caught herself thinking, "This can't be all there is." Working full time at a company whose values did not match that of Sarah's, was challenging. "I remember trying to readjust to my culture, help husband get used to life in America, and raising a happy toddler, all while living with my parents until we bought a house. It was a circus," she says.

Aha Moment

A step-aunt {one of the perks of having loads of extended family} had mentioned a company she worked for that had been voted in the Top 100 for Working Mothers. They offered their employees flex time, job sharing, yoga services, on site gym and much more at a health care recruiting company. "I interviewed and got the job" she divulges. A couple years later the thoughts resurfaced. "Am I using my gifts? What am I supposed to be doing, and I would really love to work for myself," she disclosed.

She went part time at work to pursue her dream of entrepreneurship. While walking one day in 2007, the visions began. "I couldn't sleep and I was up at three a.m. writing ideas down," Sarah notes. "Why am I doing all this work for someone else when I can be doing it for myself?" she questioned. Take a traditional nine- to- fiver and give them some inspiration and who knows how things will turn out.

When you can't ignore it

Sarah is in the start -up stages of launching her business and recently acquired the domain She is confident in her visions and strategy and is mostly having fun. "I spend every free minute at the library or bookstore reading any marketing book or business start up guide available. I've subscribed to Entrepreneur magazine and I treat myself like a business owner. I'm working with a logo designer, opening a business checking account, and looking forward to acquiring inventory," Sarah says excitedly.

Twenty-six years later, Sarah is not worried about the rent her mother said was too high. To start, she'll be working and storing inventory at home, and the low overhead will afford her the ability to sell her products at a really good price. "I aim to take the same business ethic I've learned at my current job in terms of work and balance to this new endeavor," she declares. Sarah also writes children's books and plans to send out manuscripts while developing the online boutique. She also continues to toy with linking Palm Beach County's resale shops together.