November 26 is Small Business Saturday, the day that you are encouraged to support your local businesses and business owners and kick off your holiday shopping! Findlay and Hancock County is home to so many great small businesses and we want you to get to know the men and women behind them. So, instead of just celebrating Small Business Saturday we are celebrating Small Business Month and highlighting the different business owners that you may see behind a shop counter, at an event, or in the grocery store and their stories as part of our Community Spotlight Series. This week we are shining the spotlight on Lori Ballinger Morehead, owner of Papillon Boutique!
Prior to 2006, Lori Ballinger Morehead had an extensive list of job experiences on her resume but in September of that year she was able to add small business owner. Lori’s friend had approached her with a shared vision to open a boutique in Findlay and Lori was completely on board, and, soon after they opened Papillon Boutique. The shop was stationed in Carriage House plaza until recently when Lori relocated to Croy Drive near the mall. In the ten years since the doors of Papillon has been open it has gained in notoriety as one of the best shops for women to buy clothes for any occasion. Papillon has items for all sizes and all price ranges. With sizes 0 – 24W, and affordable as well as designer labels, it is a store for every woman of every size and with every price range. Whether you are stocking your wardrobe for a new job, need any type of formal apparel from homecoming and prom to mother-of-the-bride, or are just looking for a great piece that makes you feel wonderful, Lori and her team will find it for you and make you feel special while they do it.
Every day since the doors opened Lori has enjoyed working with women and putting smiles on their faces. One of the things Lori is most proud of is giving one-on-one attention to each and every customer that seeks her assistance. She tries to pay close attention to the details and find the “right” dress for each woman. The most special part of her job is doing so for a client’s most important moments – the wedding of a child. She says seeing a child walk down the aisle is one of the most special days in a woman’s life and she enjoys helping a woman look and feel good during it! The joy that Lori gets while assisting customers continues during prom and homecoming dress shopping season; for many young women it is their first chance to purchase a formal dress and finding the perfect dress is special for the customer as well as for Lori. But it isn’t just finding the perfect dress for special occasions, Lori and her team also help women with finding the right outfit for every day. She loves to push women just a little outside their comfort zone and try on something new, sometimes jump-starting an entire wardrobe shift. Empowering women of all ages and sizes and making them feel good is the whole reason Lori does what she does.
Lori doesn’t just stay in her shop all day, you can often find her out and about in the community as well. She enjoys the beauty of the parks and has lost count of the many miles she has walked around the reservoir. She really enjoys attending the different events in Findlay, and her favorite is Oktoberfest. Although it has only just celebrated its second year, Lori already sees it as a yearly tradition and is looking forward to next year. As any Findlayite will tell you, the food in Findlay is fantastic and Lori can be counted to contribute her favorites. Her niece, Neeli Oler, owns The Dark Horse (which is also a favorite of ours!) so she is especially partial to it! But when she is looking to treat herself she heads to Rossilli’s. Lori’s husband has been inducted to the Hancock Sports Hall of Fame, so they have recently taken to dining at Downtown’s newest restaurant, Legends Steak House and Sports Bar. She says it is fun to eat there and look at his “wall of fame”. Lori also enjoys giving back to the community that she loves living in; she curates Zonta’s Spring Fashion Show each year, which benefits The Center for Safe & Healthy Children.
Lori has enjoyed raising her family and being a part of the Findlay community. She can’t believe how many friends she has gained over the years that started out as customers who were there “just to look”, she says those friendships are the greatest blessings Papillon Boutique has given her. In addition to gaining those friends she says there is nothing better than when a first time customer hugs her and thanks her when they walk out the door; it reaffirms that she is doing what she is supposed to in life. Looking ahead, Lori is very excited to be in her new location. The larger space allows her to carry extra inventory and is has more parking and easy access, which she is hoping makes it even more convenient for her customers. With the move, Lori also extended her hours to accommodate her customers with a 9 to 5 job and she is more than willing to set up a private appointment outside of normal hours as well. Make sure to stop in to see the new space and to pick up something special for the holidays!
You can find Lori at Papillon Boutique at its new location, 1100 Croy Drive, in Findlay. Papillon Boutique is open Monday – Tuesday and Thursday – Friday, 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. and Wednesday 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. Papillon is also open 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. on Saturdays and by private appointment.
Don’t miss out on other community members we have highlighted through the community spotlight series, like fellow small business owner Doris Schumacher and Jody Combs and Abby Anderson. Make sure to support small businesses this holiday season by shopping local, especially on Small Business Saturday. Check back to VisitFindlay.com often for more information on ways to support small businesses this holiday season!