(Editor’s note: This is the sixth in a series of articles on economic development led by the Kingsville Chamber of Commerce. Stef and Becs is now located in the Kingsville Chamber of Commerce of Building.)
Sometimes when life throws you lemons, you just have to squeeze the fruit, seize the opportunity and make lemonade.
That’s what Stefanie Perryman and Rebecca Sanchez did a few years ago, and the result is a delectable programming concoction called Stef and Becs, a Facebook live clothing and entertainment show home-grown right here in Kingsville.
The Stef and Becs Facebook boutique show is a twice-a-week women’s fashion blitz featuring affordable clothing of all types and colors for women of all sizes and shapes for under $50.
The show, which is rising in popularity, was born of inspiration and out of necessity.
A few years ago, Stef was struggling in a personal relationship and decided to make a change for herself and her children. She contacted her good friend Rebecca and sought her advice. The two friends talked, and the next thing they knew, Stef had moved into Becs’ house with her two children. That’s where life took a dramatic turn.
“We were talking one day and Stef looked at me and said ‘What am I going to do to take care of my kids?’” Bec recalled. “We chatted, then out of nowhere it hit me: ‘Why don’t we start a boutique?’ Before we started talking that day, I had never thought of us running a boutique let alone doing a live show!”
The two ladies were used to doing live Facebook gigs, which they had done numerous times before running the Toys For Tots program in Kingsville. The ladies, who were named Citizen(s) of the Year for their volunteer efforts with Toys for Tots, parlayed their experience from that endeavor into the boutique world.
“We had the experience doing the “live thing”, so when Bec said ‘let’s do a show’ we jumped in with both feet,” said Stef. “We had been counting Barbie’s for seven years for Toys, we had met a lot of people doing that and I knew we had the organizational experience. It was a great idea.”
The first show debuted on February 6, 2019 and was staged in the living room of Becs’ home.
“It started real small,” laughed Bec at the memory. “We didn’t have a lot of viewers at first, but it started to grow by our viewers sharing on Facebook,” Bec said. “We weren’t trying to be glib, we wanted to show affordable clothes to women of all sizes and make them comfortable in their own skin.”
“We try to sell them on themselves,” Stef said. “We want them to feel good about themselves and how they look. It’s really that simple.”
Bec is the buyer for the show, and pretty much picks the clothing sold on the show and the quantities needed based on past sales. While live, the two women ask their viewers what they want and like, and then look to fulfill their wants and requests.
While that is a sound business formula, it is the chemistry and energy the two women bring to the boutique show that makes the live production unique and popular.
They laugh, they dance, they toss out off-color lines and jokes and they just “bring it” when it comes to a high-energy sales presentation.
They toss out flowery bouquets of love and friendship, and the ladies who watch respond enthusiastically by buying the limited quantity of clothes available for sale for that program.
The program started out exclusively in Kingsville, but has grown across the nation. Over 50 percent of the products sold on the boutique show are sold out of town. Most nights there are over 300 viewers, but some nights the viewership has gone over 600 and 700 and is still growing.
“Never in a million years did I imagine we’d be doing this and having this much fun,” Bec said. “I even had a seizure live on Stef and Bec’s in July of 2019 and we got right back on that horse and kept doing it.”
Then she laughs at the memory.
“Stef wasn’t here that night when I had the seizure,” she recalled before bursting out into laughter. “Then my husband had to come and drag me off the screen and then the show was over. You never know what’s going to happen.
“Heck, we never know!”
With that, the ladies laughed and joked and went about their business.
Stef and Becs is on every Wednesday and Friday night around 7:30 or 7:45 on Facebook.