For West Hempstead resident Sagine Pierre, this past year presented what she described as challenges and heartache. Pierre, who opened her retail store, Sage & Angie Boutique just over a year ago, recently celebrated her one-year anniversary. Working in retail for about 20 years, Pierre said she’s learned a lot about running her own store.
“The fact that we lasted a year was a tremendous moment for me,” Pierre said. “I didn’t realize how much work there was going to be, but it definitely was a long year. I work really hard, and I do so many different things to make sure that we’re keeping ourselves above water.”
One of the things that she also learned in the past year was the importance of knowing your community and your customers. “I didn’t realize that your family and friends aren’t going to be your customer,” she said jokingly. “We want customers to feel more of an experience rather than just spending money . . . and I love the fact that this community is a melting pot.”
Pierre, who named her store after her two daughters, Sage, 9, and Angie, 6, had previously worked at Lord & Taylor for 11 years. She said that she would always get complimented on her outfits and dresses that she wore to work.
“I realized that I had a sense of style that people were intrigued by,” Pierre said.
From there, Pierre launched her own website about two years ago, but she wanted to maintain a personal connection with residents, which is why she opened her boutique store. Running her own store is something that she has had in mind for about a decade.
“I couldn’t afford to tell anyone that I was going to do this, because I didn’t want to hear the reality of what I was about to do,” she said, adding that she wanted to focus on the positives of being a local store owner. She said that having her husband’s support was a huge lift.
“You have to have a great support system. That’s number one,” Pierre said.
Since the store opened, Pierre has held several events open to the community such as Breakfast with Santa along with several book signings.
Pierre, who is also a stylist, designed the dress for Miss Universe Haiti Cassandra Chéry in the 2017 Miss Universe pageant. Moving forward, Pierre hopes to immerse her business even more into the community.