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From Boutiques to Bay State - Online Student Success

By on June 19, 2014
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Among the multicolored storefronts and restaurants of Inman Square in Cambridge is Boutique Fabulous, a beautiful shop owned by one of our very own online students, Kerri Friedlaender.

Chandeliers and light fixtures hanging from the ceiling will catch your attention right away, but it’s the collection of vintage pieces, clothing, gift ideas, cards, and other completely unique items that will keep you browsing for longer than expected.

Kerri, who is set to finish her fully online degree in management with a concentration in marketing next April, is no stranger to managing a store.  For years, Kerri worked at some of the most well-known, high-end baby stores on Newbury Street before owning her own baby shop, Twinkle Star, not far down the road from Boutique Fabulous.

“It was a great shop, but the baby industry had changed,” said Kerri.  “People weren’t going to boutique baby stores as much with the big name retailers like Target selling for much less.”

When they sold their shop, Kerri and her husband knew they wanted to buy another.  They worked well together. And as the parents of 3 young children, it gave them both the flexibility to spend more time with them.

Boutique Fabulous happened to go up for sale at the right time, and Kerri and her husband jumped at the chance.

In the midst of all this, Kerri had enrolled in the Bay State College Online program at the recommendation of a former employee, who was also taking classes at Bay State.

“I had tried taking some classes online at Harvard extension, and also looked into going the community college route. But working full-time, owning my own store and being a mom to three kids left no time for it.”

With the flexibility of the online course at Bay State, Kerri has been able to complete her coursework around her busy schedule.

“This degree is important to me,” she says. “We believe in the store and that it’s going to be successful, but there are no guarantees in life.  Once I earn my degree, it will always be there to fall back on.  Plus, I want my kids to see how important it is to get an education.”

Her coursework at Bay State has helped in owning her own business as well – from Human Resources all the way to Macroeconomics. She’s able to apply much of what she’s learned in her day to day life.

While she’s not on campus every day like some of our students, we’re just as proud to call her one of our own.  Thanks, Kerri, for letting us stop by.