Madison Reagan finds success by going all in for hometown effort

Thursday, June 25, 2020
Madison Reagan sorts through a selection of clothing at her boutique.
DAR/Paul Davis

Madison Reagan, a 23-year-old Poplar Bluff business owner, already is living her dream. Now, she wants to take it even further.

Reagan is the owner of Bella Bee Boutique, a local retail shop specializing in clothing, jewelry, accessories, shoes and natural products, such as soaps, lotions, bath oils and lip balm. They also offer Montessori kits for home-schooled students.

What began in 2018 as an online store has grown in two years to a physical location at 1201 Sterling Drive, suite one, near Mansion Mall and Sterling Bank. The store is a new addition to the city’s retail offerings, having opened its doors in May.

Madison Reagan turned her online business into a brick-and-mortar store after just two years.
DAR/Mike Buhler

Reagan, a 2015 graduate of Poplar Bluff Senior High, is a lifelong resident of Poplar Bluff, who said, “It was always a dream of mine to open a store.”

She got her start making her own custom screen-printed T-shirts and selling them to family and friends.

This enterprise led to her online outlet, but the demand for her products led Reagan to open a physical location this year.

She says the idea for the physical store came to her strongly back in February.

“I woke up one morning and decided to go for it,” she said. “I thought, ‘I’m going to open a store. I’m going all in.’”

“Our online growth was so much, so quickly, we thought it would be beneficial for customers to have the physical location to browse the items, plus the advantage of taking it with them over having it shipped,” Reagan said.

She partners with Morey Farms, a locally sourced enterprise making natural bath and body products, along with Vicky’s Earrings, another local provider. With her own T-shirt line in house, many of Bella Bee’s products are hometown made.

Her advice for aspiring young entrepreneurs is, “If you’re going to do it, go all in. Don’t be afraid to chase your dream.”

While she does wish she had known a bit more about the laws and regulations governing businesses before she started, she says she also has learned a lot on the job through trial and error.

Reagan credits her customers as her most important resource for growing her business.

“We started by generating sales and interest through our Facebook page,” she said. “Customers spreading the word help us with attracting people into our store.”

One of her goals for her business is to use part of her profits to donate back into the community by supporting charitable organizations.

“I want to use this as a means to give back locally,” Reagan said.

Another goal for her is to eventually open a second retail location in the area.