Lara Blair Photography

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Celebrating Women - Ann Matthews of Arktana

CELEBRATING WOMEN - A weekly blog post


There’s something special about a woman-owned business that serves women and is all about women. Ann Matthews, owner of Arktana (a luxury shoe and clothing store), is a friend and I couldn’t be more impressed with the business she’s created in our area. She just had her grand opening of her second store in Felida, WA yesterday and it was a smashing success. There are specific reasons why some businesses knock it out of the park (especially when it comes to retail that caters to females).


The first success-maker is a shop owner who hires well. Ann created the ultimate sales team. These women are efficient, warm, engaging and more than anything, treat the store likes it’s their own. I think the personality of the shop owner really lends itself to this kind of loyalty. I spent a lot time yesterday photographing women shopping, but I also had some special conversations with her employees about their own lives. They are interesting women with stories of their own. I think hiring interesting women who’ve got their own “gig” is also key for creating a space people want to frequent. It’s not just about the shoes…people make it interesting.

Another thing that creates buzz about a shop is the level of customer care paired with merchandise that is well planned and curated. Ann buys well and has her girls constantly posting about what’s coming in. Times they are a changin’ (when it comes to how to reach customers) and she’s delegated this to women who are good at it. Smart and efficient. 


The last thing I really noticed yesterday was level of enthusiasm and positivity swirling around the space. It’s the same energy from the previous store transferred to a new location…see above why that’s happening. It’s all about the people and who you allow to participate in your big dream and vision. I’m finding if you can communicate a vision that is exciting and important for you, the right people will appear to join in the journey.

I get so excited when I meet women entrepreneurs who are having a great time in work and in life…it’s so hard to balance things when your work is so personal. I’m learning that myself this second time around, and I’m creating serious boundaries to allow for happiness in both. It’s challenging, but I’m seeing it’s the most important thing you can do for yourself when your business is your baby.

**It’s all about girls and women at our studio…we want to lift up, empower and celebrate the females in this world who are flat out gettin’ in done. A portrait experience can do all of these things! Contact us to see what we can do for you.**

Lara Blair