BOWLING GREEN—Sobriety changed her life and her business. Owner of Gypsy Soul Salon and Boutique, Brittney Reuther, faced her life head on more than five years ago, when she realized that alcohol was running and ruining her life.
She went through rehab and came out a stronger, more confident person, ready to take on the responsibilities of her life. As anyone who has faced addiction will tell you, being idle is a surefire way to fall back into bad habits. Reuther turned to her business as a way to remain busy and bring something unique to Bowling Green.
“I wasn’t sure how it would go over in our town, because we’ve never had a clothing boutique,” she said. Starting out in 2015, she opened the salon, and in 2016, she started the boutique.
Reuther also does a lot of writing about sobriety. She shares her writing as an inspiration to others who have faced the same or similar addiction she did.
In a recent post, Reuther wrote: “This a story written by a girl who was once lost, and 68 months ago, she was found. Sixty-eight months ago I began a journey that I was certainly not ready for! I attended rehab for my drinking problem. You might wonder why this matters, but sobriety was a new beginning of Gypsy Soul. I actually opened the salon side in 2015 but my heart wasn’t there, I did hair part time for beer money, I wasn’t a great stylist. I never reached my full potential in all of the seven years (before that when) I had been doing hair. That is until I came back from rehab, with the tools I needed for this life!”
Starting a business, she said, was a little nerve racking. “But it’s actually been amazing,” Reuther added. “It helped me grow as a person with my sobriety.”
“At the age of 18, alcohol crushed any dream I had,” she wrote. “It took me two years to complete hair school, because partying was all I chose to do. I wasn’t living my dream, I was drowning in a self-created nightmare.”
With sobriety, Reuther was able to focus on her business, and expand from the small space that once housed the boutique, pushing the wall to the back of the building. She was also able to add a porch, which gives the building a much more homey feel. It also changed the building’s curb appeal, especially when she fixed the sidewalk in front of the store.
In her sobriety post, Reuther wrote: “For over a year we made our tiny space work, until fall of 2017, when we did our expansion in just three short weeks! We were then able to include shoes, jeans and a much larger selection. This spring we were able to introduce our Gypsy Soul Retail Glamper, which I have big plans for eventually.”
“The salon has actually been here for six years,” she added.
The important thing, she added, is finding what people want in the way of clothing and accessories. She continues to look for and try new things, including different marketing opportunities, such as Hoppy Shopping on the Green and the recent Block Party, complete with a fashion show, which also featured models from nearby Ann Layne Boutique.
Coming along on this life journey with Reuther is her husband, Ben, and their two boys, Easton and Waylon.
Reuther admits she is an avid shopper, and she puts into the store items she would be happy wearing. In fact, she often posts on Facebook new items that she models for her audience.
“I’m sure you all get tired of seeing me model everything,” she wrote to her customers, “but the reasoning behind it is simply the fact that I am my business card—my smile, my confidence, my style is the foundation of Gypsy Soul.”
Ariel Pitzer with AP Photography takes the photos of Reuther for her site.
“She does all my photography,” she said. “It’s kind of fun that our businesses have grown together.”
She did at one time have children’s clothing, but she stuck with what works—women’s clothing. The women’s clothing runs in sizes from small to 3X.
She also has footwear, pointing out the rack of Tricky A boots. They are refurbished cowboy boots.
“I was also the first one to bring Myra bags to this community,” she said. “Now a lot of the stores here carry them.”
She also has hand-made items, such as the A&M earrings.
Even with COVID shutting down the shop for six weeks last year, she was able to bounce back. A lot of her income came from online sales, but she said she prefers to work with customers in person. It makes her happy to be able to find clothing and accessories that make others happy.
Coming up in the fall will be the third annual Witches Night Out, an event that Reuther helped get off the ground.
“It’s probably my favorite event,” she said. Other businesses join in, providing special incentives for shoppers, especially the ones who dress as witches. Last year, they concluded the evening with a best witches costume award.
“Christmas in the Green is my second favorite event,” she said. “It’s the opening of the holidays. And Heritage Days is another big fun one, because it’s the transition to fall.”
Be prepared, she said. They plan on doing Christmas in July during fair week, which is the last week of the month.
“I also do spur of the moment sales,” Reuther added, so it pays to friend her Facebook page to keep tabs on those sales.
“I like to say we have hair, clothes and home goods,” Reuther said.
The store is open Wednesday – Saturday. The store is open 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. from Wednesday to Friday and Saturdays are 9 a.m. to noon.
“I’m also an avid gardener and homemaker,” she said. Reuther also raises chickens.
“I always I’m the heart and the people are the soul of Gypsy Soul,” Reuther said. “I create it, but I have to have the people here to make it.”
She wrote: “I will never quit following my dreams!”