As the school year was coming to an end, I was thinking about all the fun activities that I was going to be participating in during the summer. My list came to a screeching halt after the first entry on my list...


... not fun at all if you ask me.

Since my life goal was to work in fashion, I decided that I was going to search for a retail store that would hire me so that I would be able to receive some fashion experience. As I was scrolling through Yelp in order to find retail shops close to where I lived, I was struck by a boutique only 5 minutes away from where I reside called "Ootra". I had drove past this store several times, never bothering to go in because I thought that I would not fit in there. I was never the type to dress artsy, nor am I an artsy person. Not to mention, all the reviews said that the owner was a "terrible" and "rude" person. But I took my chances. I decided that I was going to apply there even though all the reviews did everything they could in order to scare me away.

Yelp was more than wrong. 

Debbie Jagel, the owner of the store, has been one of the most inspirational, lively, enthusiastic, and influential people I have ever had the chance to meet-- and not to mention work for. I came into Ootra not knowing how to layer, not knowing that dressing what most people like to call "artsy" is actually a fun and uplifting style that I now refer to as "ootra-style". Both Debbie (the owner) and the manager Lauren Wohlrab, have taught me so many things about myself, the fashion world, styling, and blogging. If I had listened and chickened out based on the negative and false reviews that were put on Yelp by dull people, I would not have otherwise learned all of new fashion and personable skills that they had taught me. Along with the huge learning experience that I received, I have made some of the best friends that I could have ever asked for during my summer at Ootra... friends who not only loved fashion as much as I do, but enjoyed being in a whimsical and upbeat environment that Ootra brought. 

Ootra taught me that it's not only important to dress your body, but to dress your spirit. Looking fashionable is only good if you feel confident and happy on the inside. This summer has been one that I will never forget, and I have Ootra to thank for that.


XOXO, Amanda.