For all the outsiders, I see you.

I've always been a little "different."  In high school, I never really cared what others thought of me.  I was just my loud, silly self enjoying life as I knew it.  To this day, I have a hard time making new friends.  I feel awkward at networking events, so I choose to avoid them.  I enjoy meeting new people, but I still never feel like I "belong"...if that makes any sense.

So....why am I writing this blog post?  Well, I recently went through an unexpected feeling of being left out and it compelled me to write about it.  I guess it's therapeutic for me and maybe it will help you too.

Recently I saw an advertisement for a local boutique crawl with 7 nearby businesses included.  My shop isn't on the list, even though 2 others in my shopping complex are.  I wasn't invited.  I'm not cool.  Gut punch.

I don't know why this hit me so hard.  I think it was a wave of emotions tied to the fact that I usually feel like an outsider.  I've never been one of the "cool kids" and this made me feel like I wasn't good enough to be included on the list.  In fact, I've never been invited to participate in a boutique crawl in my 5 years in business.

After my initial emotional reaction wore off, I started thinking about it from another perspective.  (Mostly because my wonderful fiancé helped comfort me and remind me that being different is good.)  Those 7 businesses all have a similar aesthetic (classy & elegant) and cater to women sizes XS-L.  My store is very different from theirs and is full of fun, colorful things for women in all sizes up to 4X.  Even my logo is bright and colorful, compared to their simple black logos.

This situation made me think back to my 1998 high school homecoming.  The photos at the end of this post show me dressed up in a wacky outfit, marching to the beat of my own drum, and having the best time!  It didn't matter that I was embarrassing myself in front of the whole student body.  I was comfortable in my own skin and I was having FUN!  I need to remember to be more like this version of myself and remain confident in my uniqueness.

So maybe I don't fit in.  Maybe DART Boutique doesn't fit in.  So what.  Being different is okay.  In fact, it's better than okay.  I needed this reminder and maybe you do too. 

DART Boutique is unique and that's exactly the way I want it to stay.  If you've ever felt excluded, "different", or not sure where your place is...this is your home.  We welcome you with open arms.  And if you stop in often enough, I may just awkwardly invite you to lunch sometime so we can be friends.

And if you are a Sioux Falls boutique owner reading this, just know that we would be thrilled to participate in future boutique crawls.  We could even provide a simple black logo if our colorful one is too much...;)

Anyway, all this to yourself, whoever you are.  If you are a classy gal, awesome.  If you are quirky and weird, awesome.  If you are shy and quiet, awesome.  If you are loud and obnoxious, awesome.  The world is big enough for all of our awesomeness.

Love, Leslie Ann (Owner of DART Boutique in Sioux Falls, SD)


Here are photos from my high school homecoming in 1998.  Yes, I'm old......and weird. :)

Be unique

1998 Parade

Be yourself


Be loud

Find the narrated version of this blog post on our TikTok page:


  • Brandi Johnson

    Leslie – I was never a “cool kid” either. And although I buy very few clothes (I’m a miser), when I need something in a pinch, your shop is the first one I think of!! You have EVERYTHING! Edgy, classy, casual, simple. Don’t ever doubt your choices!!

  • Lynise John

    Myself and 3 friends did our own " boutique crawl" this past Saturday and your shop WAS on our list! I almost always find something to purchase. I think your post describes exactly why I love your shop! You do you girl! One of my favorite phrases is " Let them". I feel this phrase has this boutique crawl written all over it. Every person that walks through your doors is meant to be there and I myself am personally drawn to your bright colorful sign! Don’t change that to fit in and be a part of something! Heck, better yet…you should put together your own boutique crawl! Maybe you have a few vendors or other shops that also feel the way you did! Just a thought!

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

You may also like

View all
Example blog post
Example blog post
Example blog post