Living The Dream

Why Squash Blossom Boutique is the role Lisa Bobb was born to play

Lisa Bobb still remembers the moment. When life comes at you in one of those “it’s the worst of times; it’s best of times” scenarios, it is not easy to forget. After more than eight years at Coca-Cola – the last two-plus of which she created and ran a global technology and culture change program – she was laid off in 2015. While shaking off the shock, worry and fear, Lisa learned the owners of Squash Blossom Boutique were looking to sell the business after 15 years.

The opportunity intrigued her. The question became whether or not she should invest her severance package and go to work for someone else or take the entrepreneurial leap.

As fate would have it, there was no better time than the present. “I always wanted to own a boutique and I had been a customer for years. I loved the eclectic style and have a passion for curating beautiful, unique clothing and accessories. When I travel, I always visit local markets to see what’s out there. I decided to give it a shot.”

The beginning had its share of bumpy moments. Because the brand was widely known and well-loved, Lisa inherited myriad relationships. On the other hand, she lost customers who felt an allegiance to the original owners. And there was that staff mutiny, where she was told to hire her own people.

As cold as the world can be at times, the warm spots are where people like Lisa succeed. She started purchasing items from larger, more well-known brands that appealed to a wider audience, while continuing to carry smaller, lesser-known independent labels. She added treasures she found on her travels. “There is something for everyone: mother, daughter and granddaughter. Even if someone comes in with a corporate wardrobe and aesthetic, we can usually nudge them out of their comfort zone into something a bit more artsy, colorful and unique.”

In 2017, Lisa opened a second store in Grant Park with more of a focus on gift items. And then, as so many stories include, the pandemic struck. While Lisa closed the store during Covid’s early days, she created the Squash Box, a collection of small “happy” items wrapped up in a bow with a personalized handwritten message from the sender. Lisa and her team delivered hundreds throughout Decatur, including Birthday Squash Boxes, featuring a helium balloon and a piece of cake inside. “I received countless messages from people who said it meant the world to them. It sort of went viral, which was not only great for the community, but helped keep us in business during those tough months.”

The other part of Squash Blossom where Lisa thrives is in her interaction with her customers. A big proponent of customer feedback, she loves working the counter and walking the store. She also records videos about things like shop life, wardrobes and life in general. “I think it helps me gain the trust of my customers and the community.”


Squash Blossom Boutique

113 E Court Square


Decatur Rapid Fire…

Lisa Bobb
Squash Blossom Boutique

Biggest influence?
I’m more than slightly embarrassed to say that Instagram rules me at the moment—how does it know exactly what I need in my life??

Three traits every leader should have?
Passion. Empathy. Humility

What book are you reading now?
“James” by Percival Everett

What are you binge watching?
Currently on a TV hiatus.

Who is the artist you cannot take off your playlist?
Amy Winehouse

Biggest thing on your bucket list?
To live in a Spanish speaking country and become fluent in the language

Favorite Decatur spot?
The green in front of the historic courthouse—you see a little bit of everybody and everything.

The first place every newcomer to Decatur should visit first?
The Visitor’s Center, of course. Get a personal welcome, an old school map and overview of the area.

The best thing a customer ever said to you?
A customer once said I made her feel beautiful, confident and seen.

What’s your favorite quote?
“People will forget what you said; people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” — Maya Angelou

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