CENTER CITY RESIDENT HanNa Jung, 31, redefined her family's University City dry-cleaning business by adding a trendy boutique in October 2011. A Moore College of Art & Design alumna, she used more than $10,000 in personal savings for renovation and inventory. The businesses - Bonded Boutique and Bonded Boutique Cleaner - had combined revenues of about $400,000 in 2012. Previously, Jung was a product-development manager at Alexander Doll Co. in New York and also worked with fashion designer Jason Wu.
Q: How did you come up with the idea for combining the two businesses?
A: I studied fashion design and my goal is to have my own line of ready-to-wear women's clothing. I was living in New York and came home to visit my mom, who owns the dry cleaner. I saw the space with a new eye and felt it could be better-utilized.
Q: What made you think the combination would work?
A: It just seemed natural. If you don't know this is a dry cleaner and you come in, you think it's a boutique. A customer buys something and they see the conveyor belt in the back and return the next time with their dry cleaning and alterations.
Q: What was the biggest challenge you faced starting up?
A: Just running the business, because this was a new venture for me. I sourced all the inventory, painted the walls and put up shelves. When we opened, I renovated the window display and some people wondered what happened to the dry cleaners. I had to figure how to clarify that. So I put a large poster next to the entrance and some signage outside to show it's also a dry cleaner.
Q: Who are your customers?
A: Mostly women who are Penn students and professors and some neighborhood people. At this point, 65 percent is dry cleaning and the rest boutique. But I hope to see it go to 50-50 and they feed off one another.
Q: You have an eclectic mix of clothing and accessories.
A: I want to make sure that when a customer comes here, they leave with something. I have items from $3.25 for an organic lip-care ointment to leather jackets from $125 to $135. I'm trying hard to offer goods that are well-designed and well-made but affordable.
Q: What kind of neighborhood impact has the business had?
A: There's a consignment shop that recently opened nearby. By seeing that, I thought, "Oh, I did something to this street [Spruce between 37th and 38th]." Before, it was just restaurants and a dry cleaner. Adding a boutique with a nice window display made the street a little more interesting.
Q: What's next?
A: I want to expand the model, and I'm looking for a second location. I think I have a good brand. It's unique.