Purpose and passion are two words that get thrown around during meaningful conversations and therapy sessions. But how does that translate to retail? We sat down with Kristin DeRight, the owner of Purpose + Passion Boutique, to gain insight to that exact question. Follow along as she shares her journey and how she is blazing the trail in Amarillo for intentional shopping.
What landed you in the Texas Panhandle?
I was born and raised in Amarillo, and my parents were also born and raised in Amarillo. There are lots of ties to the Panhandle in my family. I went off to college and ended up in Denton at UNT, and I went to school for Fashion Merchandising. I loved the DFW area and ended up staying there for ten years, working for various non-profit organizations. Around 2010, I felt the pull to come back home but had no idea how that would look. My lease was ending, and I packed up my belongings and moved back to Amarillo. I was not 100% sure what I was doing.. I was grateful that the non-profit that I worked for at the time was willing to keep me on board. I worked remotely for two years, but was traveling a lot for my job. After that I felt was time to really grow some roots again in Amarillo. I eventually started working in marketing for Happy State Bank before changing jobs to work for Anderson Merchandising. When Anderson closed, for the first time ever, I was leaving a job not by my own choice – and it was scary! I spent a good six months without a job, and it was a incredibly humbling experience filled with self-reflection. I was planning on moving to Chicago at this point. I had sold my house and just about everything inside my house as well. Right before hosting my last garage sale, my mom tells me that she believes that I need to open a boutique. And this was not my plan at all! So my mom and I talked and prayed for a long time. I knew that if it was meant to be, I would find the perfect space. One day I was prayer-walking in Wolflin Village and happened upon an empty storefront. This was in 2017, and most of the retail stores had moved to Wolflin Square and it was all completely empty. So I called and asked to check out the space. This first time I walked in, I knew that it needed a lot of work and renovations, but at the same time it felt right. I knew that this was something I was supposed to be doing.
Tell us what makes Purpose + Passion Boutique a one-of-a-kind shopping experience.
When we first started in January of 2018, and opened the doors of Purpose + Passion Boutique, my mom and I knew that it would be a little more challenging than just to be a boutique that only sold items. I have a background in working with non-profits, and I knew that I wanted to incorporate the idea of “giving back” within the boutique. I really wanted it to be something other than just another Amarillo boutique. So we made it a point to only source products that have some type of charity aspect to them. However, we also knew that we were going to educate our customers on the products that we carry. There is signage throughout the store that explains exactly how the purchase of these products helps to fund these organizations. When customers lift a candle up to their nose, we want them to know that it’s more than just a beautiful candle. We want people to be aware that this candle is helping to feed kids in Honduras or India. Or maybe it’s another product, but it is helping fund organizations that are working to end human trafficking in Texas. We believe in sharing the stories of these companies. These companies are doing incredible things all over the world, and we get to share their stories. Our customers appreciate that Purpose + Passion allows them to contribute to meaningful organizations.
I feel like our customers love leaving our store knowing that their dollars are making an impact. Especially in the last four to five years there has been this turn where we, as consumers, want to know what we’re putting on our body, or in our body. We want to know how our products are made and where they’re made. I think our customers really appreciate the “intentional” shopping that happens at Purpose + Passion. You aren’t just buying a candle or a bag just to have it, there is intention with each purchase. I even think that our clientele appreciates that, and it makes gift-giving so much more personal. You can purchase a nice gift for a loved one, but it’s not just a beautiful gift. That purchase also gives back to an organization that might be near and dear to the recipient too. I think that is really a magical thing to facilitate for our customers.
What is your favorite part about being a business owner in Amarillo?
I love being an entrepreneur in Amarillo because our community is so strong in supporting small businesses. I’d actually considered selling all my belongings and moving out of the city in 2017. I was going to live in a big city, and if I really wanted to start a company then I could do it there. More attraction, more opportunities. Hindsight is always 20-20. I can now say that would have been extremely difficult doing this anywhere else. I would not have the community support like I do here anywhere else. Our community really wants to rally around anyone with a dream.
It was really cool when I first opened because several people that I knew from my past, like maybe they knew my grandma or maybe worked with my mom, took time out of their day to come and support a dream of mine. And seeing their support makes me more adapt to do that for others. I want to support those with a passion. We consider those that work with us a part of our family. A lot of times we work with younger staff, and they’re trying to figure out what they want to do with their life. It’s so fun to join them along their journey and maybe help them find their purpose or their passion. We love to help them figure out whatever it is they’re called to do in this life. It’s an honor to be able to do that.
What has been your favorite thing about being a part of The Collective?
It’s been really exciting to be a part of From 6th Collective! Purpose + Passion joined back in the Summer of 2022. We’re coming up on our 1-year anniversary of being out there! We love that we could be a part of space that promotes and supports small business in the most unique way possible. It’s so great that people from all around the world can come to one spot like From 6th Collective. They’re able to shop local boutiques and artisans and really show their support. It also gives these visitors a glimpse into what Amarillo has to offer. People don’t realize how many cool places and unique businesses, and really just cool people, that are here. It’s such a great opportunity to be apart of The Collective. We’ve found that it really works for us! We have customers who never heard of Purpose + Passion, but they visited From 6th Collective and now they know us! And now they’re showing up on our doorstep at the boutique in Wolflin Village to shop. It has been incredibly fruitful for us. On the other hand, we’ve also had regulars who haven’t heard of From 6th Collective. It’s always such an honor to be able to tell them about it because they’re not just going to be able to find our boutique, but there are 40+ other business that they can also support. We love to be able to send our customers out west to truly have The Collective experience. We’ve really enjoyed getting to be a part of this family that Kasey and her team have created there.
What are you up to when you’re not at work? Any special hobbies or interests?
Some of my favorite things to do are skiing and I love to go on hikes. Anything outdoors pretty much gets me hyped. I get a lot of my inspiration from being outside. I’ve recently started to take up photography! And not just learning how to take better photos on my phone! I’m actually using a DSLR camera and learning the tricks of the trade with that. I’ve really been enjoying that passion of mine! I also have a dog, Dudley. He has been in my life for over ten years and he loves to be outside too. We really are a perfect match. We both like sugar cookies and we both like walks!
What are you looking forward to the most this year?
We’re looking forward to more opportunity to share about the vision of Purpose + Passion Boutique. We love being able to partner with non-profits and also bless people at the same time. This year we are really being intentional about reaching out to non-profits to find ways that we could help them. Or maybe we can partner with another organization under their umbrella. We love that we are able to do that, and really look forward to helping support more organizations that are important to us.
You can find Purpose + Passion Boutique at their brick and mortar location in Wolflin Village. Or you can shop their selections out west at From 6th Collective. Don’t live in the area? Check out Purpose + Passion’s most popular products out west online!