Kim Stephenson – Business Owner Highlight Series

Welcome to The Forum’s Business Owner Highlight Series! Meet our incredible business owners through these insightful interviews sharing how their business originated, its specialties, and personal anecdotes. Enjoy!

1. What is your full name, title, and the name of your business?
My name is Kim Stephenson and my business name is Tres Bleu.

2. What is the background story of your business? What was it that inspired you to start it?
Our family moved to Wilmington from Charlotte in 2011. I struggled with finding a store where both my daughter and I could shop together. I have worked retail since the age of 15 and was a fashion merchandising major in college. So we decided to create a shopping environment that appealed to multiple age groups.

3. What does your business specialize in?
Our specialty is swimwear. We carry between 10-15 lines of swim starting in December for Resort through September.

4. What brings you the greatest joy in managing/owning this business?
Just today a sweet lady came in for the first time and while I was ringing her up she told me that it can be very intimidating shopping in boutiques, but she felt very welcome and comfortable in mine.

5. What’s one fun fact about your business that most people don’t know about?
We were originally supposed to be in a different location. A month before we were supposed to open, there was a zoning issue and we could no longer move in the space we had custom built out. I had SO many clothes in my house. My youngest son would have to move rolling racks so he could watch TV in our living room. It ended up being a huge blessing because we are right where we are supposed to be!

6. Why do you believe it’s important to shop local?
Shopping locally in Wilmington is so much more of a priority than in other areas of the state. We have strong connections with our customers and sincerely care about them. Supporting local businesses is supporting our awesome community.

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