Don’t ever let anyone tell you that you can’t do something. If you want it badly enough and you have the drive within yourself to work hard, you CAN do it. Believing in yourself is where it all begins, the rest will fall into place with hard work and determination. ~ Lisa Kornstein, Founder & COO of Scout & Molly’s
You never know what fate will befall. You also don’t know how a perceived obstacle can become an opportunity. Perhaps Lisa Kornstein would not have surpassed her wildest dreams had she not been presented with an unexpected challenge.
A self-professed tomboy who always loved clothes, Lisa took a part-time job in a clothing store while earning her master’s degree in counseling. She discovered a hidden talent – she could sell. And she loved retail.
Lisa began dreaming of starting her own store; a boutique where women would feel comfortable shopping. A place where they didn’t have to worry about what they were wearing when they walked in the store. A place where they could always count on a friendly face and an honest opinion. A place where a customer would feel like she was browsing in her best friend’s closet.
So she took a leap of faith. Lisa opened her first Scout & Molly’s boutique in Raleigh, N.C. in 2002. With complete commitment and realization of her vision, the second store in North Hills, N.C. followed in 2007.
She seemed to have truly found her niche when everything came to a halt in 2008 with a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis.
“I realized that I had to make a decision. I could keep it a secret and deal it with it privately, or tell everyone and be known as the girl with MS. I decided that I was going to tell people . . . and somehow turn it into a positive.”
The incurable autoimmune disease did force her to scale back her work hours to attend to her health.
Refocusing her work life helped. “I was able to be more productive by focusing on the business side of things, such as strategy and the operation side of the business.” So she hired a store manager and a bookkeeper. It was actually this “scale back” that propelled her forward. It gave her perspective.
Although already franchising the name, Lisa didn’t have the capital to take her brand national. The alliance and partnership with long-time franchise investors changed the picture.
Their expertise in the franchising model, and Lisa’s enthusiasm for her boutique business not only made her dreams come true; it made those of other fashion enthusiasts possible.
Now a popular destination for unique clothing, jewelry and accessories across the country, Scout & Molly’s is the place where women can find distinctive ways of expressing their style.
When she is asked how she does it, Lisa replies: “My personal philosophy is, if you hold your head high and shoulders high, you can pull off anything.”