Three women look for customers with downtown boutiques
By Emily Ford
SALISBURY — Opening a boutique during an economic downturn sounds like a bad idea.
Or does it?
Sara Frick said she thought long and hard about opening Adella Apparel at 105 B N. Main St. on the heels of the Great Recession.
“But then I thought, I still shop,” said Frick, who owns the Anthropologie-inspired boutique. “And I think people are still going to go to weddings and dances.”
During the two weeks she’s been open, Frick has sold out of several dresses and has some styles left in only a few sizes. Business has been so good, she’s had to fill the racks with merchandise she didn’t plan to put out until next month.
“You don’t feel like you’re in Salisbury,” said Anne Knauf, who was in the store recently buying her third dress in as many visits.
Frick and two other women have taken the plunge and opened boutiques recently in downtown Salisbury. Each has a distinct style and vibe, but they all have one thing in common — clothes and handbags.
Women usually shop at boutiques for what they want, not what they need. The bad economy hasn’t necessarily changed that, said Randy Hemann, executive director for Downtown Salisbury Inc.
“Since they’re not traveling as much and they’re cutting back on those big expenses, some would say people will spend a little bit more on themselves right now,” Hemann said.
Another downtown boutique may open soon on the Square in The Plaza.
“It’s pretty close,” Hemann said. “We’re just waiting to sign the lease.”
Annabelle’s Boutique and Consignment
205 S. Main St.
The vibe Edgy, quirky, treasure hunt
What you’ll find Upscale used clothing and accessories, including shoes, boots, sunglasses, belts, scarves, purses and more. Mostly women’s clothes, with a few racks for men and children. New jewelry. Kitschy collectibles from Bruce Lee to Buddha.
Skin-care products, including candles that burn into lotion. New boutique-style clothing coming soon.
What you’ll hear Rock ‘n’ roll on the turntable. The owner’s husband, Danny Wood, has a large collection of vinyl record albums at the shop.
“We spin wax all the time,” he says.
What’s the skinny After she was laid off from a Rowan County floral wholesaler, Anna Wood of Woodleaf lost her father. She retreated to New York City, where she lived for a month and spent time wandering through eclectic boutiques, secondhand stores and dress shops.
A former nail technician with great hair and several tattoos, Wood decided to recreate that shopping experience in downtown Salisbury.
“I was inspired,” she says. “I wanted to bring a different air to consignment, make it more boutiquey.”
She has about 30 consignors and accepts only designer clothes and high-end brand names.
What she did to open Rebuilt two dressing rooms and added fun touches like chairs, rugs and lamps. Stained the hardwood floors. Painted. Found kitsch, art and clothes in New York, Georgia, Virginia and North Carolina.
Prices Inexpensive and up.
On being downtown “I love it.” Good community support and foot traffic.
Get in touch 704-431-4176, Facebook, firstname.lastname@example.org
Go there 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday
A Little Sumthin’ Sumthin’
117 W. Innes St.
The vibe Indulgent, artistic, luxurious
What you’ll find Accessories, handbags and jewelry by N.C. designers and artists, including Mikoz Designs of Charlotte, Blanche Evans of Huntersville, Karen Garrison of Salisbury, Jeneen Graves of Charlotte and Scentsuousity of Raleigh. Hand-knit scarves, soy candles, fashion jewelry, all-natural soaps.
Literary and arts corner featuring books and art for sale and wi-fi for surfing the Web. Complimentary coffee and hand scrubs.
What you’ll hear Jazz on the stereo.
What’s the skinny Every woman needs to get in touch with her inner diva, owner Debbie Evans says. With a sign proclaiming “divas wanted,” Evans offers a boutique that caters to the senses.
When a customer walks in, Evans’ boutique should smell good, look good and feel good, she says.
“I’ve got a little something for every taste,” she says.
When their daughter joined the Army Reserves, Evans and her husband became empty-nesters and left Alexandria, Va., where they ran a construction company for 15 years, and moved to Salisbury. Evans pursued her dream of opening a boutique and surrounding herself with beautiful handmade items, artists and books.
Knowledgeable and confident, Evans offers a girlfriends’ night out about once a month and small group parties, as well as poetry readings, live music and personal shopping.
Prices Earrings $10 and up, handbags $20 to $100
On being downtown Good foot traffic, thankful for support from Downtown Salisbury Inc. Hosts a trolley stop during Friday Nights Out.
Get in touch Facebook, www.alittlesumthinsumthin.com, 704-245-6461, email@example.com
Go there 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday. Member of the Second Saturday Art Walk.
105 B. N. Main St.
The vibe Feminine, simple, modern
What you’ll find Clothing in the tradition of Anthropologie but at a third of the price. Dresses, tops, pocketbooks, lotion, candles, some leggings, heels, jewelry, dressy flip flops, scarves and other accessories.
Lines include Esley Collection, Aryn K, Fighting Eel and Alternative Apparel (100 percent organic cotton). Feather earrings.
What you’ll hear Alternative folk rock on the iPod.
What’s the skinny Named for the only brunette mermaid in the “Little Mermaid,” Adella Apparel reflects the youthful, modern style of owner Sara Frick. Whether she’s wearing a sundress and flip flops or a belted sheath and heels, Frick knows fashion and wants women to wear what makes them feel good, regardless of brand.
“I probably have more clothes from Target in my closet than anywhere else,” she says.
With a major in history and minor in religious studies, Frick was doing office work for a transportation company when she decided to follow her dream to open a boutique, deciding “it was now or never.”
Son Holden, 11 months, sometimes accompanies her to the store, when she has another employees to help.
What she did to open Husband Nathan Frick built dressing rooms, frames and wooden counter. Shopped at antique stores for shutters and other decor, including a large metal mermaid displayed on the wall.
Prices Dresses from $30 to $70, with one pricier line from $100 to $130.
Get in touch 704-213-4954, firstname.lastname@example.org, Facebook, adellaapparel. blogspot.com
Go there 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday
Contact reporter Emily Ford at 704-797-4264.