LEBANON, Ohio (Sheila Gray) — There’s no end to the number of ways you can shop for clothes online, but one smart mom turned shopping into a competition as a way to work from home with her young sons. The money-making idea helps her balance work and family. Lauren Barnes is always on top of the latest fashion trends. When asked what colors are in this fall, Lauren browsed through a rack full of clothes and said, The wine is huge. She picked out a poncho and observed, You can flip one side, so it’s like a 2 in 1. Shes not combing through the racks at a high end boutique. She’s in her basement. Lauren is the founder of Glad Rags, her own online boutique with a twist. There’s a weekly sale I call Rag Reveals. Most women would describe it as a clothes competition, said Lauren, whose shoppers compete to buy 8 to 10 fashion finds each week. Its all done on Facebook. You join the group sale, the items are posted, you get a picture of the item, the sizing, the pricing, how it fits, she said. Women all over the country get the kids to bed Thursday nights for the appointment at their computers. Lauren said excitedly, What girl doesn’t like clothes? Business has grown enough for Lauren to make a career of Glad Rags. And her corporate bonus? She’s also a stay at home mom to Rowen and Remy. We take play breaks and wrestle around and read books, said Lauren. She wasn’t sure it would work when she first launched Glad Rags, but her husband didn’t doubt her. When I said I’m going to start a boutique on Facebook, he said, okay, let’s do it. I think it’s a great idea she said. Now she’s not confined to the basement. Lauren sets up at flea markets and festivals to reach new customers, and she’s working on getting even more mobile by restoring a vintage 1961 camper with her hubbys help. We’ll have a mobile boutique popping up, said Lauren. One day she may open a permanent location when Rowen and Remy are older, but for now she watches the hottest trends in magazines and online while she watches her boys grow up. It sounds so clich, but it goes by so fast, she said. Whats her advice for other women? Do your research, but don’t let that fear get the best of you because you’ll never know if you don’t try, she said. Even Lauren admits it’s scary at times, but it’s fun and helps her to put family first. The best part is, I don’t hate my job! she laughed. Lauren does all of the orders, packaging and shipping herself, even the website photography. She has clearance sales too. CLICK HERE for a link to Glad Rags Boutique Follow Sheila Gray on Twitter @SheilaGrayTV, and LIKE her on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter @Local12 and LIKE us on Facebook for updates!
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