Buffalo Boss Babe: Jessica Maynard- Gilbert
Today's Buffalo Boss Babe is Jessica Maynard-Gilbert owner at Ava Grace Fashions in Ellicottville NY. I met Jess in a tiny small business Facebook group ( the Facebook group that inspired me to start Buffalo Boss Babes, actually)!! Jess is a business guru! She is for sure a boss babe that is always on top of the latest trends and business tools and she has used all of this knowledge to grow an awesome business! We chatted with Jess about her cute shop and being a boss babe in Ellicottville ( one of my favorite towns!)
What made you start or brought you to where you are today? Tell us your story and what makes you a Buffalo Boss Babe.
A lot of things lead to me starting my own boutique but most immediately, I was managing a boutique here in Ellicottville from the ground up I helped with the creation of that store. When I was unable to work out a buy out of that business 2 years laterwhen they chose to close, I took what I had learned and taught myself over that time and started my own online boutique at avagracefashions.com. We started with about a dozen items in inventory and I was working out of my attic/work space. I later found a physical space in a downtown Ellicottville, NY location. Ava Grace is all about helping busy moms find comfortable clothing that looks cute. The ultimate goal is to feel like we are wearing our pajamas but look great doing it.
Another huge goal for our gals is to make shopping as easy as possible. With that in mind, there is the physical location at 10 Washington St. (up inside The Ellicottville Inn building). The boutique is open 6-7 days a week, depending on the "season" and hours are always the most accurate on our Facebook page found at "Ava Grace Fashions". I have also tailored our hours too. Many of the shops in Ellicottville are open 10-5. Ava Grace's hours are 11-6 so that working moms have time to get here after work. Added to the physical location in our awesome village that so many love to visit, we have kept the website avagracefashions.com up and running. Women can shop online, shipping is low or FREE on any order in the US when the order is over $50. We have shipped from California, Florida, Ohio, New York City....really all over the US. Then lastly, in the Facebook group found at Ava Grace VIP Gals on Facebook, we do occasionally clearance sales via live video where people can watch, ask questions then just comment to claim their item to buy. After that, a PayPal link or email is sent to them, they pay and we ship it out to them! Easy-Peasy.
Who are your favorite people to follow?
Sarah Jenks, Kate Northrup, other Buffalo Boss Babes
What are your favorite things to do in the area (Buffalo and greater WNY)?
Skiing at Holiday Valley, dinner at Villaggio & enjoying a Black Jack Oatmeal Stout at EBC then dancing the night away to our favorite band Black Widow at Balloons all here in Ellicottville, NY (of course after being in my downtown store :)
Tell me about your favorite collaborations or a dream collaboration?
One of my favorites is working with Lindsay from Elle Pea Tee- we have become great business besties as I carry her products in my boutique. But greater than that we also celebrate each other, encourage each other and help each other learn things to grow our businesses.
If you could have coffee with anyone in the world who would it be?
Well, coffee gives me heartburn so I would do a Chai Latte LOL and who would I spend that time with? Hmmm...from a business perspective there are several online boutiques that I would love to meet the owners, hear their story and learn from them.
What are your hopes, dreams, goals? Big or Small.
Small goal in 2018 is to survive my son's high school graduation this year in June. He is an only child and I am the oldest of many so I never really got to watch how my parents dealt with that time in their lives as parents so I feel like I am totally winging it in this really emotional time in our relationship.
Big dream is to build up Ava Grace's online sales. We are working on keeping the website up to date with new inventory, new blog posts and great deals to our followers on social media and on our email list. People can get a 20% off their first purchase at: http://eepurl.com/bSkeyz
Tell us about your family a bit ( 2 or 4 legged ) ?
I have an awesome husband Bill who was a high school friend who turned into the love of my life after our 10 year class reunion. He's fun, supportive and adores me as much as I adore him. My son, Samuel, is a Senior at Ellicottville this year and as tough as it is to watch them grow up, boy is it amazing to see the young adult developing before me. He's a gaming fanatic, builds his own computers and loves his job bussing tables at a local restaurant.
Feel Good Five :
Food: Ribeye Steak (medium rare) & Twice bakes potatoes
Super Power: Finding the good in most things when others can't
Season of the year: Fall
Jess is such a great gal who honestly wants to help moms look great and stay comfy! im always drawn to her blanket scarfs, cute shop and sassy accessories. Next time you are hanging out in ellicotville be sure to sqing by and show this boss babe some love!
until next time, babes!
Buffalo Boss Babes is a woman run blog series featuring woman in and around the city of Buffalo N.Y.
If you know someone doing amazing things for our community, past and present, young and old..... send us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org
Be kind to everyone you meet.
Here's to strong women! May we know them. May we be them