An Interview with Samantha Busch

online shopping

Online shopping? Yes, please! 

That’s exactly what Samantha Busch was thinking when she decided to open her online boutique, Shop Murph. Shop Murph is an online boutique that carries fun, trendy, affordable clothes for the everyday girl.

Last week I flew to Charlotte, North Carolina, to meet up with Samantha in person. The Shop Murph warehouse is located inside of the giant Kyle Busch Motorsports complex in Mooresville, N.C.

In fact, it occurred to me that this was a perfect trip for KN and I. He got to see the shop where NASCAR race cars are built and repaired, and talk NASCAR with Samantha’s dad, while I got to talk clothes and fashion with Samantha!

 

Samantha Busch online store

Just like the rest of the world, Samantha Busch does most of her shopping online due to her busy schedule. Not only does she have a toddler (which makes shopping impossible), a successful lifestyle blog about her and her family, but she also travels ten months a year with her husband NASCAR Champion driver and team owner, Kyle Busch. (He’s easy to spot in the M&M car!)

Samantha’s online boutique just went live this year. I couldn’t wait to meet up with her to discuss the details and see the clothes! She wanted to have her own business and realized an online boutique was a perfect fit. Combining her love of clothes and shopping with her own fans and followers. Her husband obviously has a huge fan club but she also has her own. Samantha is very open and sharing about herself and her family on social media and on her blog, which makes people feel like they know her before they even meet her. She is always at the race track and is thrilled to talk to the fans. 

Meeting her is like meeting up with a girlfriend. She is just a tiny, sweet, beautiful midwestern girl and you connect with her instantly. Her sincerity, reputation and graciousness precede her, and that is why she has quite a fan club of her own! 

Before we got to business we played 6 degrees of separation. She is from the same town that my sister lives in in Indiana. She had her baby shower at the Lighthouse Restaurant in Cedar Lake, Indiana, where my parents have a lake house. Also, she was in a sorority with my sister in law’s girlfriend. It’s such a small world!

samantha Busch interview

On to the business.

How did you come up with the concept for Shop Murph?

“People ask me all of the time where I shop or where I get my clothes. That is what sparked the idea for Shop Murph!” she says. “I named it after my grandmother, her nickname was Murph.”  On her first buying trip to Los Angeles, her goal was to keep her fans (and friends) in mind when she was picking out the clothes for Shop Murph.  She shopped with them in mind but she also picked things that she would wear herself. “I like crazy colors and non traditional things!” she exclaimed. Keeping the price point affordable is a main driving factor with most items priced under $50. Also important to her, is having fun, fashionable plus sizes. A friend had expressed her frustration with most plus size clothes being “frumpy” so Samantha specifically addresses that on her site, with a full range of options for every woman.

Obviously, an online boutique has to have inventory, so her first buying trip was a bit overwhelming and stressful since this was all new to her. But she’s no slacker (she has her bachelors and masters both from Purdue), so she quickly figured it out and by the end of day two she was negotiating better pricing and terms on her own. To prepare the boutique for summer and fall, her next buying trip is already this month.

I asked if she had a better understanding of what sells and what doesn’t since she has a couple months of sales and feedback under her belt. “No!” she exclaimed. “I still can’t figure out why one dress will sell out in 2 days and another won’t sell even when it’s on sale. We look at the sales trends but so far there isn’t anything that is obvious to take with us to market. The great news is that we are off to a better start that we imagined. Sales are good!”

 

Samantha Busch's business

 

samantha busch questions

Samantha promotes the site primarily on her own. She wears the clothes to the races and to the many events that she attends with her husband. Her assistant Amy recognized that the day after Samantha wears something and posts it on social media, sales on that item skyrocket!

One of her “hot” items is the graphic tank top she created. The tank says “The racetrack is my happy place”.  Since she knows her core customer well, she created these and they have been selling like hot cakes. She is also selling them at the race track and that has inspired her to create another. Her new order of tanks will say “Sunday is for Jesus and racing”! 

NASCAR WIFE

 

Samantha is not shy and she knows what she wants. Not only does she have her masters in Psychology, she also has a very successful lifestyle blog. Being in front of the camera is not intimidating to her either. This confidence is reflected in how she is running Shop Murph. All of the photos on the site are of her or girls that work in the KBM building. They load up the clothes and head out on photo shoots around the area. It’s the perfect way to model real clothes on real people!

A quick Q & A:

  • Is it your hope to have a retail store? “Oh no! That isn’t in the plan. It would be impossible to deal with retail hours!”
  • Do you want to design your own clothes? “No, I probably won’t ever do it, but I would love to design shoes. Shoes are my favorite! I never get rid of my shoes, I still have shoes that are from high school! ”      
  • Where do you like to shop? “I am a bargain hunter, I love shopping at Marshalls and Nordstrom Rack. I never pay full price for jeans!” (We also discussed Nordstrom’s Last Chance. She said she purchased a designer bag that had a ripped lining in it. She just had the lining replaced by a seamstress and it’s like new!) See, she is defineitly one of us!
  • Is your closet organized? “Yes, Kyle and I share a closet. He is very organized and likes things in order.” (Later when I was talking with Sam’s Mom I discovered that Sam has clothes in “all” of the closets in her house!) Don’t worry girl, we totally understand!
  • Do you really eat those delicious desserts you make on the blog? Specifically the Snickers Crisper skillet recipe you put on your Insta stories? “Yes! I did eat that! I like to have something sweet almost everyday. The key is to just eat one cookie or have control of how much. I love sweets, I just don’t eat the entire bag of M & M’s!”

It was a pleasure meeting a fellow hoosier girl living out her dreams. Due to the fact that KN is a big NASCAR fan, I’m sure I’ll be seeing Samantha again, at the track!

 Make sure to check out her boutique here and her blog here

P.S. I picked up 2 super cute summer dresses while I was there. Look for them on my Instagram @kellyrae_nelson soon!  

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