In December of 2015, Athens Now carried a story about Southerland Boutique, one of the new businesses that had just opened in the renovated buildings located just north of the Courthouse Annex. The boutique is the one with the diagonally positioned door, and the shop is charming, sports the original exposed brick, utilizes repurposed furniture, and old-style metal pipes are used as the clothing racks. Southerland Boutique is owned by Amy Hobbs Boone, who grew up being in business, and the Hobbs family is well known in our area as entrepreneurs and business owners.
Amy spent 14 years of her career working as a multi-million dollar producing real estate agent. Her husband, Daniel, owns a contracting company. She has always enjoyed fashion, but it was the challenge of finding age appropriate clothing at a reasonable price for her daughter Taylor that moved her toward her latest venture. For a few years, she had her own clothing “shop” that was mostly online. In 2012, she converted a spare room in her home into a boutique, largely purchased her inventory online, advertised it on Facebook, and she told me, “I would even deliver the orders to people in my car.” She did so well that in 2014 she opened the first Southerland Boutique in Ardmore, and named it after her mother’s maiden name. It is located at 29976 1st Ave East, across from the Methodist Church.
It is now July of 2016, and yet another opportunity for Amy became available in the form of a shop right next door, connected to the Athens store by way of an arched doorway. She decided that this was the time to give little girls their own special boutique, and began to search for clothing lines that reflected the same desire she had when Taylor was younger: to find attractive, age appropriate fashion that is fairly priced. One of the things Amy has found that she loves about having two shops that are adjoined is that now there is one building, with one central counter where clients can receive the best possible service.
She told me more about what led her to add little girls’ clothing to the selection at Southerland. “Our clients were looking for things that were cute, innocent, soft, sweet and modest, and at a good price,” said Amy. She also added that, in her experience, “Little girls still want to look just like their mothers.” Amy went to market, found exactly what her clients had told her they wanted, and both stores now carry clothing in sizes 5- 14. Recently she added shoes by Pierre Dumas, and, as illustrated, little girls can now get shoes that look “just like Mommy’s” for a good price.“Nothing on the girls’ side is over $40”, said Amy, and she works very hard to keep prices as low as she can. The girls’ shop carries tank tops, sun dresses, regular dresses, shorts, and leggings. Most are casual, there are a few that would work for a wedding or church, and there are also such items such as hair bows and other accessories.
Some of the features that set Southerland Boutiques apart include: a huge selection from which to choose, new items arriving each week, the sales people are friendly, down to earth and personable, and they are all fashion smart. “We work hard to make sure our staff is well trained, and able to serve our customers,” she said, and I can say from experience that they are and they do.
Back to school clothing is going to arrive later this month, just in time for school heading back in session. Although weather has been unusually hot lately, it actually works in the favor of moms and their girls, because the latest trends can be purchased now and worn when it’s cooler, and summer clothing can be bought on sale and worn while it’s still hot.
If you are looking for a full service boutique that will help you or your little girl look sharp without straining your pocket book, then make your way to Southerland Boutique in Ardmore or Athens, and let Amy and her staff help you find just what you are looking for.
By: Ali Elizabeth Turner