23 Market Square didn’t remain empty for long. Just three months ago, The Peanut Shop closed its doors and we’re now just a couple or three weeks away from having the Impeccable Pig Boutique take its spot. Local broker, Mary Katherine Wormsley, who you’ll be hearing more about in coming days, helped them find the property, which is owned by Dewhirst Properties.
I’ve had a number of people ask if the new place will serve barbecue. I spoke to Advertising/Social Media Manager Cameron Van Patton who said she’s heard that association before. In fact, the business, which started in 2002 as a home decor shop in Dallas Texas, is now a boutique focusing predominantly on women’s fashion apparel. Operated by mother/daughter team Laura (whose degree is in design) and Jenny Correa since 2005, the company now has spread to 18 locations (Knoxville will be the 19th) across the southeast. The Knoxville store will be their second location in Tennessee, with the first being in Nashville.
I asked why they became interested in Knoxville and the Nashville store was part of the answer. It has been a very successful location for the family-owned business and they became interested in another Tennessee location. They have stores in both suburban and urban environments, but they often tend to be near a college or university. They visited Knoxville and fell in love with what is happening downtown and, particularly, on Market Square. The proximity to UT was a key, as well. They felt their store could offer something a little different to our downtown retail mix.
Dominated by fashion similar to what you can see on their website, the storefront will include a much larger selection than that shown online. The prices will be similar with dresses starting at about $38 and scarves running from $18 to $24. You’ll also find a line of $30 bracelets hand-made by women in Nepal. All money from the sales of the bracelets is returned to the women who made them. You’ll also find earrings and other potential gift items.
Ms. Van Patton explained that the idea of the mother/daughter operated business is to provide a store where mothers and daughters can shop and each find something they like. Connecting the gift items to the clothing, she said it’s a store where you might find gift for a friend’s birthday and a dress to wear to the party.
The company also stresses community involvement. Sometimes that takes the form of the employees and owners volunteering for local causes. Other times they host fund-raisers for local or national charities in their stores after hours and use their social media presence to promote the events. Other times the event might take the form of giving 20% of a day’s proceeds to the selected charity.
Perhaps the most surprising information, to me, was that the store hopes to open by the end of April, which is a pretty quick turnaround, but Ms. Van Patton felt it was possible and that they actually hope to open sooner, if possible. Check out the website, watch for their local Facebook page and check out the store when it opens in four weeks or so.
Special thanks to Cameron for permission to use the photographs included in this article. If you are interested in working for the new boutique, you may email email@example.com for information about making an application.