Best of both worlds: Gunpowder and Lead Clothing Boutique offers something for everyone

Published 12:00 am Sunday, July 2, 2023

SALISBURY — If a clothing store can offer a wide variety of things that both men and women would buy, then it allows for any kind of person to stop in to check out what they have. From their name and logo to the things they sell, Gunpowder and Lead Clothing Boutique in downtown Salisbury is all about catering to as many people as possible.

Owner Katie Parnell says Gunpowder and Lead started inside of the same Lexington salon where she got her hair done. Parnell had talked about opening a boutique before when the salon owner mentioned the space she had available.

“And so it just went from there,” Parnell said.

About a year later, Parnell found a bigger location on South Main Street in downtown Salisbury. They had to complete some renovations, but it wasn’t as big of an issue as it could have been. “We were not planning on opening this soon, but the renovation went faster than expected,” Parnell said.

The name Gunpowder and Lead comes from a Miranda Lambert song. The logo was made out to have both feminine and masculine imagery with flowers and guns on display. “I wanted it girly, but I also wanted to attract men. So if you put gunpowder and guns on it, that gets the men.” They sell not only men and women’s clothes, but also hot sauces, spices, beard oils, teas, jewelry, and have “sip and shops” for customers, too.

Parnell isn’t alone in trying to get the store ready. She has her three kids helping her as Gunpowder and Lead makes a name for itself. It’s that kind of mentality that Parnell wants to instill in her kids as they continue to work with her.

“I mainly did it because I want my kids to help and learn how the world works with money. You have to work, money doesn’t grow on trees. I have a 17-year-old, a 13-year-old, and a 5-year-old and they all play a part, they all do their parts,” Parnell said. “I was a stay at home mom for years before I did this so my kids are definitely involved.”

Parnell says the community has been very welcoming towards her and her business. She is already a member of the Rowan County Chamber of Commerce and appreciates the feedback she’s gotten.

“It’s been wonderful! Everybody’s super friendly. I was open for the Juneteenth Festival and the Pride Festival. Just lots of people!”

Even though Gunpowder and Lead had a ribbon cutting ceremony this past Thursday, the grand opening hasn’t happened yet. “We’re just kind of getting the kinks out, still doing some stuff to the store, still waiting on new inventory.”

Thinking ahead, Parnell would like to keep Gunpowder and Lead within the family. Parnell has a mobile boutique that they take to events and festivals that helps spread the word of their store. With all the buzz that she’s dealing with now, Parnell is already thinking of another location since the rest of her family lives at the beach.

“Who knows? There could be a second location at the coast,” Parnell said.