After about a decade selling products to other boutique owners, Cigi Morrison, ’06 human ecology – fashion merchandising, decided she would rather be buying for her own boutique.
She returned to Cookeville from her job in Atlanta working for AmericasMart, the largest home goods and apparel trade show in the country. She opened Cigi’s Boutique, a shop downtown that carries clothing, candles, pillows and art, including several lines by local artists and clothing companies.
“I always wanted to be an entrepreneur but I thought it would be later in life,” she said. “Every morning it’s like, ‘Pinch me – is this real?’ I’m my own boss and I love doing this. It does not feel like work at all.”
Since the shop opened around Christmas, Morrison has moved to a store twice as large as what she started with, added a shoe line and hired part-time help. She has also picked back up where she left off, working with other area shop owners and her alma mater. She serves on an advisory board with the Tennessee Tech human ecology program and returns to campus at least once a month.
“My past experience paved the way,” she said. “The human ecology program has been so supportive.”