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Fernanda and Vivien Bohme: Success from Humble Beginnings

By: Alex Springer

May 6, 2013

In 2008, Bohme Boutique launched with one storefront in Orem’s University Mall. Now, sisters Fernanda and Vivien Bohme have overseen the development of locations in nearly every local mall as well as the expansion of their business into several other states, effectively molding Bohme Boutique into a company that can compete on a national level.

Though the Bohme sisters have created a thriving clothing company that continues to expand, they have not forgotten the humble beginnings that instilled them with a drive and passion to achieve success.

When Vivien and Fernanda were young, their family immigrated to the United States from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. They spent their afternoons and evenings helping their parents clean offices to make ends meet. The family had only a modest income, so the sisters grew up accustomed to second-hand clothing.

Vivien says this scarcity gave her a desire for a store where women could find apparel that was both fashionable and affordable. By 2006, the sisters started designing and manufacturing the clothing that they wanted to see in stores.

Their first foray into the clothing industry was not without its setbacks. Before the construction of their University Mall location was complete, the sisters were unable to continue paying their contractor. Rather than letting this obstacle derail their plans, Fernanda and Vivien—who was seven months pregnant at the time—took over construction duties themselves. This turned into a blessing in disguise as the sisters were able to take a more hands-on approach to their store design by directly incorporating their own artistic ideas into the construction of their storefront.

Despite these initial difficulties, Bohme Boutiques have opened in Idaho, Arizona and Nevada with more recent locations in South Dakota and Iowa. The sisters project the company soon will have 40 locations throughout the country, building toward a larger goal of 200 stores nationwide.

The fashion industry is fiercely competitive, but the Bohme sisters say they have been able to stay one step ahead by creating imaginative, eye-catching storefronts. They keep careful watch over the changing trends in women’s fashions, both in malls and online, to keep up with the ever-shifting climate of the fashion industry while making plans to secure the future of their company. 

In addition to providing their customers with affordable yet fashionable products, the Bohme sisters strive to create a rewarding environment for employees. They encourage goal setting among their employees, often offering incentives for meeting individual and group goals. They also seize opportunities to use these incentives as ways to teach their employees the value of hard work and personal success.

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