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Former Teacher Opens Sweet Texas Treasures Boutique

A+look+at+a+small+portion+of+Sweet+Texas+Treasures+located+in+Montgomery%2C+Texas.
A look at a small portion of Sweet Texas Treasures located in Montgomery, Texas.

A look at a small portion of Sweet Texas Treasures located in Montgomery, Texas.

Morgan Calhoun

Morgan Calhoun

A look at a small portion of Sweet Texas Treasures located in Montgomery, Texas.

Emmy Amaya, Staff Writer

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On September 6, 2016 Morgan Calhoun, the former Fashion Design teacher, officially opened up a store for Sweet Texas Treasures, her clothing line.

“Truthfully, it was a quick process.  Somehow I found the right location; it is .3 miles from my home in Montgomery,” Calhoun said. “[We] knocked down a wall, patched the wall, pulled up carpet, textured and painted the walls. Lots of construction!  I officially had the place August 1 and wanted to open September 1.”

During construction month, Calhoun also spent her time traveling and buying items to add to the store.

“In that month, in addition to construction, I got to go to the Dallas Market [Center] and select what additional items I wanted in my store.  Being a buyer for my own store was a dream come true,” she said. “I chose a lot of basic items, t-shirts, cardigans, dresses, intermixed with some fashion items that were a risk as to whether or not they’d sell.”

After starting with a template to make a onesie for her newborn daughter in April of 2015, she started up an Etsy shop.

“The onesie turned into an Etsy shop which eventually led to making adult shirts as well.  I have sold over 300 orders on Etsy and currently have over 15 boutiques that buy my shirts wholesale on a regular basis for their store,” Calhoun said. “So far I’ve had great feedback from my community that my “pricing was reasonable,” and “I have really cute, unique items.” My store has home décor, vintage, children’s, women’s, and men’s.”

The idea of owning and running a store of her own has been a dream for a long time. Calhoun has been working towards being able to have her own store since she was very young and now she is able to sell and make her own clothing for other people.

“My best friend and I talked about it often. All my life I’ve had a love for old things. It was in college that I put that love into a small business,” Calhoun said. “I attended Sam Houston and before I would go waitressing, I’d be garage selling… I was hitting up all the local resale shops. I started collecting neat things from décor to clothes and accessories and started listing them on eBay. Now I have a closet in my store for vintage items where those items are sold.”

Of course running an online store while also teaching is a difficult load to handle, but also being a first time store owner, and only having the store, has its downsides.

“While this past year and a half I had my online store, it was hard on my family and I. My husband told me the other day I’d stay up until 10 sewing every night for Etsy orders and not have quality time with him and Victoria. At that time, I was only averaging around 4-6 orders a week,” she said. “I found that I learned sewing techniques by working with the students and they actually enhanced my sewing abilities. Now with the physical store front and not teaching anymore, I greatly miss the conversations with the students. I find myself getting excited when a teenager walks into my store because I really made the connection with that age group. I now get a minimum of 1 order a day with a max of 5 a day, have over 70 wholesale shirts I’m sending out weekly, and run the store six days a week. I guess you can say I’m now hiring. It’s definitely a lot for one person to handle.”

With every new business, owners seem to have their hopes for the future in mind, so they can work their way toward those goals.

“I hope that one day I can have this business up and running with a team working for me.” Calhoun said. “I have the space in my store where I can eventually teach sewing lessons, which I would love to do in the future. Long term future goals would be to have a manufacturing company make my shirts her in the U.S. while selling my shirts and other accessories.”

A friend, and former colleague, Katherine Rooke also had thoughts about Sweet Texas Treasures.

“Mrs. Calhoun became a great friend to me while teaching together and I am happy that her dreams are coming true by opening up her own store,” Rooke said. “The store is beautiful and I am very glad I was able to teach with her for a few years.”

A few of her previous students were proud for her store to be opened, since she has had her online store, though they did not know much about when the store would open or become official. They were not given a certain time and date until this recently.

“I hope she makes it really big, because she’s really talented,” says senior, Tracey Moulds. “She deserves it because she works really hard. We kind of knew she wanted to open a store, but she didn’t physically tell us until this summer because she didn’t want to ruin our last year with her.”

Her students, of course are happy for Calhoun, after spending a couple of years with her. As a teacher, she made an incredible impact on some of them.

“I would miss how she felt like a mom to me, since she was always there for me when I needed her and that whenever I had a problem or if I messed up on an outfit she would help me seam-rip it and actually put it back together and would go step-by-step with me,” senior, Victoria Pitty said.

Calhoun’s previous students also wish the best for her store. Having great expectations for her business.

“I would say having a ton of people there; she’s always made it by booth each year, and this year, she’s already made her mark out there, I would expect a lot of people to go and see what she’s done,” Pitty said.

Being the teacher of a fashion class, it would not be a surprise that a teacher would tell her students about her business, if it is related to the class.

“She was a really good teacher and she made her students feel loved. We knew about her online store, she was constantly talking about it in class,” Moulds said.

Receiving a new teacher their senior year may seem like a negative thing, after having the same teacher for the previous years, where they have already made a connection with that teacher. Now they have a new person in their lives willing to teach them and learn from them.

“I hope that she’s very successful and that she loves what she does. It’ll definitely be different but I think it’ll be an interesting year and it will be really fun to get to know the new teacher,” senior, Gabriele Mayhew said.

A new year with a new teacher means having to have the class in order. The people in charge of the class also have to try their hardest not to make things difficult for the new teacher.

“This year I guess since now we have a different teacher and a little bit more expectations towards the President, and Vice President, and all the people we have in there, …now we need to make sure everything goes the way it’s supposed to and make sure things don’t go crazy for the new teacher,” Pitty said.

Though her time teaching felt like short and flew by fast these couple of years, she has many aspects of teaching that she misses.

“I miss teaching daily, although I only did it for 2 years, it was a great, inspiring job. The students made every day great with both a good and bad days. It was amazing to see students succeed and try their best. Now that I’m not working at the school, I still contact my past students and hope to be a good reference for them with their future endeavors,” Calhoun said. “I also miss my coworkers. Although some of them have been shopping at the store, so I still keep in contact with them. I would not have made it here without all the love and support from my friends, family and people I’ve met along the way,” Calhoun said.

An example of what can be found at Sweet Texas Treasures.

Morgan Calhoun
An example of what can be found at Sweet Texas Treasures.

An example of what can be found at Sweet Texas Treasures.

Morgan Calhoun
An example of what can be found at Sweet Texas Treasures.

Morgan Calhoun and her previous students from Fashion Design at Klein High School.

Courtesy of Morgan Calhoun
Morgan Calhoun and her previous students from Fashion Design at Klein High School.

 

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Former Teacher Opens Sweet Texas Treasures Boutique