Clothes shopping can be a daunting task. Whether browsing through racks of clothes or scrolling through pictures online, finding the perfect professional outfit can take some patience.
Laura and Brooke Kirkpatrick are looking to make that process a little easier.
“This isn’t going to be a college girl boutique,” Laura said. “It’s going to be an upscale women’s boutique.”
The mother-daughter team will open Magnolia James Boutique in on East Samford Avenue in Auburn on Aug. 2.
The store will feature professional women’s clothing such as blouses, skirts, dress pants, blazers and other professional attire. Small trinkets like candles and jewelry will also be available.
With a price point between $50 to $200, the Kirkpatricks are looking to appeal to professional women, they said.
“I saw a huge need [for a women’s professional boutique],” Laura said. “There are no nicer clothing store options for a grown woman that has events to go to.”
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The two got the idea for the store after years of poking at the idea. After graduating from Auburn in 1987, Laura was a buyer and manager for retail stores like Parisian before taking a pause to raise her daughter. She had always wondered what it would be like to own her own shop.
Brooke took on her mother’s dream of owning a boutique while she was attending Auburn. When she graduated in 2018, she decided to make that dream a reality.
She created a business plan and presented it to her parents. They agreed to help her start her dream project.
“It’s something you’ve always wanted to do,” Brooke said to her mom. “It became something I wanted to do when I was in college.”
The duo worked tirelessly to secure a space across the street from the Church of the Highlands, while also creating their set of professional women’s clothes.
They attended conventions where they found the brands they wanted to carry, Laura said.
“We’re trying to come up with things that everybody else just doesn’t sell,” Brooke said.
The store will be open weekdays and non-home football gamedays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Home football gameday hours will depend on game time. The store will be open Sundays by appointment only.
Shoppers can make appoints to have a one-on-one shopping experience or schedule a private shopping event for a small group. Their purpose is to give women a personalized shopping experience.
The women plan to create customer profiles for every customer, which will include information like their sizes and favorite types of clothing. The profile will also come with a gift registry.
“If it’s your birthday or anniversary or what have you, your boyfriend or your husband can come in and say, ‘I have no idea what to get her. She says there’s a list,’” Brooke said. “Then, we can help him and pull all the ones she liked but hasn’t bought.”
Working together has been a breeze for the mother-daughter team. Once the store opens, Brooke will move into a more managerial roll, while Laura will continue to be a buyer. The plan is for Laura to help Brooke get the store up and running, then let her take the reins on everything.
“We understand what the vision is, and we both respect that,” Brooke said. “We both see the quality in working together, and not everybody gets to do this. We’re super grateful.”
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