Kari Owen.

Interview with Adorn’s owner, Kari Owen.

Photos by Tara Whittaker Photography.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your journey to becoming the owner of Adorn Boutique?
I grew up in a small town (Smithers) in Northern British Columbia and ever since I can remember I have wanted a career in fashion (I even insisted on dressing up like a Fashion Designer for Halloween in the sixth grade!). I didn’t know exactly where I wanted to go in the industry, but I have always enjoyed writing, so I decided to go to University to get my bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Communications. I started my own blog (Modern Girls in Vintage Pearls) with a classmate on my university exchange to Australia in 2009, worked at my local newspaper in the summers and interned for The Glitter Guide. I had always hoped to pursue a career in the fashion media industry, or to open my own boutique. I didn’t particularly want one option more than the other, but when the opportunity to buy Adorn came up, it was an easy decision – and here I am! It’s such a rewarding and exciting career, and I haven’t once regretted my decision.

If you were to give a 30 second elevator pitch of Adorn, what would it be?
Our motto is “We do Pretty”and I always try to stick to that idea – from our boutique’s decor, to the clothing I order and each display I create. I pride myself in carrying a mix of classic pieces that appeal to a variety of age groups, contrasted by trendy statement pieces that will add an element of feminine fun to your wardrobe! I want Adorn to be your favourite shop in Calgary – a place where you can look forward to discovering unique items such as our tulle skirts!

What has been your favourite part about being the owner of Adorn?
Well that’s easy! What girl wouldn’t love buying shows, they’re like a giant shopping spree!! But aside from sourcing new brands, I would have to say that I love working with our customers! It’s so fun when you help someone out and they leave with a new outfit that they feel amazing in. Every girl deserves to feel pretty, and I love helping them to achieve that!

What has been the biggest lesson you’ve learned about owning your own business?
I think the hardest part of being a business owner is learning when to take a break. It’s hard to just sit down and relax when you know that you could be improving your business somehow. I always try to take Sunday’s off – no emails, no popping down to the store to check on things – just a day to relax. I have also learned that you can’t make everyone happy all the time – I definitely try, but it’s just not always possible – sometime’s that’s a hard lesson to learn.

How would you describe your style and who do you look up to for fashion inspiration?
My style is very similar to what I bring into the store – feminine, yet comfortable. I love pretty dresses and lady length skirts, but I’m also a sucker for a good pair of skinny jeans with some converse and a blouse or graphic tee! I love pink, florals and a little bit of sparkle, so I usually find a way to incorporate them into my outfit – whether it’s by dressing up a tee with a statement necklace, layering a floral top under a sweater, or adding a colourful blazer to a more simplistic ensemble. Since taking over the store fabrics have also become very important to me – I love soft cottons, or pieces with bamboo content as well as light linens and sweaters with a hint of cashmere (feel pretty much anything in the shop and you will see what I mean)! Being a fashion ( Modern Girls in Vintage Pearls) and wedding blogger myself, I’ve been following blogs like Pink Peonies , Gal Meets Glam, Hello Fashion Blog and Sincerely Jules for some time, and now I find that they’re my main source of inspiration.



If you could give advice to aspiring entrepreneurs, what would it be?
Well, I don’t know how much advice I can give, as I am still pretty new, but what I would say is that owning your own business is a LOT of work, but so worthwhile. It has been so rewarding and exciting to see something that I have worked so hard on grow and improve each month. It really gives you a sense of pride.

When I was 15 I decided that I wanted to run my own boutique, and by the time I was in university I had set myself a goal of ownership by 25 – now here I am! One month after turning 25 I purchased Adorn! So I guess my most important advice would be to set goals for yourself, work hard and don’t quit, because you really can achieve your dreams if you don’t give up!


Connect with Kari on Linkedin. & Instagram. 

Remember for all in-store purchases, Adorn is happy to give e31. readers 10% off your entire purchase. Simply show this post at the till or say that Brina and e31. sent you and the discount code is “E31SPRING”.

Adorn’s address is 1216a-9th Avenue SE (Inglewood) and their store hours are:

Monday – Wednesday: 11 – 5:30
Thursday: 11 – 7
Friday, Saturday: 11 – 5:30
Sunday: 11 – 4:30

You can also purchase select items online where you will receive 15% off your entire purchase when you enter the discount code “E31SPRING” at the checkout.