By Beverly Drapalik
When Karli Harris decided to move Everyday Chic Boutique to the old Samuel Walker Building, giving a nod to history and creating a modern shopping destination were high on her list of priorities. She has given more than a nod. She has given a definite “cheer.”
Beams from her great-grandfather’s barn on Gano Road are prominent in the new “rustic” ECB. Maynard Harris would be proud of the beams and tin roof that create a kiosk of clothing, and Harris seems sentimental about her family’s barn becoming a part of her store.
In addition, general contractor Kevin Carmean, from Wilmington, created a unique checkout desk out of walnut cabinets from John Murphy’s barn on Starbuck Road.
“I just left the checkout area in Kevin’s hands,” Harris said. “It was all his idea.”
Carmean’s idea and Harris’ theme meshed beautifully. She cruised Pinterest and found many ideas. She now calls her theme “rustic industrial chic.” The doors and windows, adding to the theme, came from Reclamation and Restoration in Dayton.
The industrial flair at ECB is evident in the far corner of the store: the original freight elevator used by a former tenant, Rice’s furniture.
“The original working parts are here, including the pulley and gate,” Harris said. “And the wording, ‘capacity 1,000 lbs.’ is still there.” The elevator has become the sale area.
The community began to experience shopping the “new” ECB in May, but the grand opening on June 4 was Harris’ opportunity to thank the people of Wilmington and beyond. Special tote bags filled with coupons and goodies were given to the first 100 people through the double doors at the grand opening. All merchandise was discounted 20 percent that day, and Harris gave out $1,000 in gift cards.
She is appreciative of the support.
“People around here shopped with us in the old location on Locust,” she said. “They are continuing their support now, and I feel that I can create an even better destination for this town. I am overwhelmed with gratitude.”
Harris knows Wilmington and she knows her business. She graduated from Wilmington College with a marketing major and actually started her online business in her guest bedroom in 2014. She soon decided that women should be able to see what they are buying. So, her brick and mortar business was born, and “every day” she is able to help women in this region feel special.
The inventory at the store has tripled, and Harris has plans for a bride’s table, as well as a table for baby gifts.
“When people need a gift,” she said, “we hope they think of us.”
Already in place are more denim items, accessories and gifts. Harris is carefully selective about items for sale. The soaps truly look good enough to eat, and the jewelry is unique. Sandals, boots and wedges by Bedstu are made in the United States, and can be found just inside the front door. The large clock on the wall is made by a local craftsman in Lebanon, and the wooden bowls are made by a man in Indiana. The store has added more plus sizes, too.
Women’s fashion is the main focus of ECB, but a new aspect of the business is Everyday Home and Gifts, found at the back of the store. The room is complete with a fireplace and features items for the home, much like HGTV’s modern industrial, rustic look. The room even has a sofa and a TV, so customers can watch a game or wait on a friend to shop.
The entire store is inviting and the employees are friendly.
Nikki Jenkins loves working there.
“It’s a big family and it’s fun,” Jenkins said. “There’s no other place like it in town.”
Everyday Chic Boutique offers a unique destination for shopping, just as Harris had hoped.
When asked about the future, she said, “I will try to focus on the website and serve online customers even better. And, maybe I will have some interns. Also, I’d like to open a second location by next year.”
If the new store is any indication of her success, she will have no problem with the future.
ECB’s 9 Fashion Trends of Summer
1) The color blush is this season’s neutral
2) The bare or “cold” shoulder
4) Flowy tops
5) Maxi dresses
7) “Destroyed” denim
8) Strap sandals
EVERYDAY CHIC BOUTIQUE
Address: 64 W. Main St., Wilmington, OH 45177
Hours: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday; 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.