In a world of constant change, Piper stands as a testament to the enduring power of passion, community and the belief that no matter the challenges, “It’s all good.”
Located in Lubbock, Texas, Piper has become one of Lubbock’s most popular boutiques. Shara Konechney, the driving force behind Piper, developed the store from its humble beginnings as a Western boutique to a thriving retail destination offering everything from game day apparel and accessories, to professional wear and athleisure.
Piper’s story is one of resilience, adaptability and a deep connection to the community. Having grown up in Lamesa and receiving an elementary education degree from Angelo State, Shara knew she wanted to do something different than everyone else.
“In the 70s, it was a man-driven business world and no women started their own business,” Shara said. “Women taught school, were nurses and raised kids and I knew that was not for me. I think it is so cool how women have blossomed and taken over in today’s world.”
After working as sales reps in the Dallas apparel market, both Shara and her late mother, Barbara, combined their skills and love for fashion to establish a business. They started by creating western-themed clothing for livestock shows, rodeos and fairs. This endeavor eventually led them to open their first two stores; Cat Ballou in Lubbock and Cowboys, Indians & Outlaws in Ruidoso. Despite facing financial challenges and uncertainties as single women in the business world, Shara and her mother persevered. Their mantra was simple: “It’s all good.” This unwavering optimism propelled them forward as they navigated the ups and downs of entrepreneurship.
“No matter what we went through, Mom always used to say ‘You know what, we are doing what we love and we get to be together so it’s all good’,” Shara said. “Over the years, I have just hung my hat on that.”
The fashion world is ever-changing, so Western wear, even though we are in Texas, is a very small niche. Therefore, Shara and Barbara soon sold Cat Ballou and Cowboys, Indians & Outlaws, as neither of them had a background in business and did not know how to pivot.
After selling the businesses and getting married, Shara and her husband stayed in Lubbock but traveled and sold jewelry at tradeshows for the next five years.
Then, in the late 80’s, Sam Moon came to Dallas and changed the fashion and trade show industry by offering a more affordable wholesale option. Shara quickly realized this and she and her mother opened 10-20 Boutique, selling nothing over $20 and most under $10. The first 10-20 Boutique was on Glenna Goodacre Blvd and in 2004, they opened a second location at 5604 Slide Rd # 700, Piper’s current location.
Learning from her past experiences with Cat Ballou and Cowboys, Indians & Outlaws, after eight years Shara knew it was time to evolve from selling accessories to carrying clothing.
“A girlfriend of mine is a professor at Texas Tech in the retail department and about 12 years ago, I reached out to her for help,” Shara said. “ I went to one of her retail classes and held a contest where her students filled out a form with things that they thought would be cool for the store’s transition. The winner of the competition liked the name Piper and that is literally where we chose our name and how we changed the outlook of our store.”
Today, Piper’s success can be attributed not only to Shara’s dedication but also to the incredible support and loyalty of the Lubbock community. The store has become a go-to destination for high school and college students, young professionals and women of all ages looking for stylish attire. Whether it’s game day outfits, prom dresses or everyday wear, Piper has it all.
But Piper’s impact extends beyond fashion. Shara and her team actively engage with the community through various initiatives, including donations to local schools, collaborations with the TTU Innovation Hub to mentor aspiring entrepreneurs and offering internships at the store.
Shara emphasizes the importance of mentorship and encourages aspiring business owners to seek guidance and resources, especially at places like the TTU Innovation Hub, which offers valuable support for starting a business.
“The best thing about having Piper in Lubbock is meeting so many wonderful customers who have turned into friends,” Shara said. “Lubbock is just so friendly and people give back, making starting a business easier. Lubbock has a lot of potential and is much more economical for the success of a retail business.”
Piper stands as a testament to the enduring power of passion, community and the belief that no matter the challenges, “It’s all good.” For years, Shara has committed to her customers, community and the pursuit of her passion for fashion—a legacy that she shared with her late mother, Barbara.
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