Mother daughter duo Katie and Maggie Brooks opened a cheery accessory boutique in Chenoweth Square that’s become a one-stop-shopping resource for all kinds of pretty pick-me-ups, from décor to gifts and great fashion finds.
Retail must be in their DNA. After running the successful store, Tradewinds, for over a decade, Katie and Maggie Brooks took some time off for children (Katie) and grandchildren (Maggie), but couldn’t quite stay away from the fun of running their own store. “After a few years off, we were ready to get back into it,” says Katie. “A space at Chenoweth opened up and we decided that was our opportunity.” The pair wanted to do something they hadn’t done before and decided that accessories would be their niche.
“We had carried a small selection of accessories at Tradewinds, but it was very focused,” says Maggie. “We both loved that market and there wasn’t another accessory boutique over there, so we thought it would be a good fit.” The two were in synch about the rest of their vision as well. “We are both obsessed with customer service,” says Maggie.
“We designed the store to be happy and cheery. We have big polka dots on the wall and lights strung from the ceiling. We want people to come in and feel relaxed and welcome.”
Their focus on one-on-one service has made their boutique a popular spot for women running in for last-minute outfit fixes. “We had ladies running in on the way to Breeders Cup looking for gloves,” says Katie. “And women will stop in for wraps to go over their dresses right before a gala. Or they run in for hostess gifts on the way to a party. They know we’ll help them get in and out and we’ll have what they need.”
With encouragement from their loyal following, they’ve expanded their selection gradually to include more apparel. “We’ve added great items like dresses and fun tops,” says Katie. “We go for what’s different and eye-catching— the way we do with accessories. We look for something in each piece that sets it apart. We’re also all about texture. We want everything in our store to be comfortable to wear.”
Their holiday looks include cozy, fashion forward items like suede and velvet dresses, velvet tops, and sequined fuzzy sweaters— most reasonably priced under a hundred dollars. And they come in sizes that run from extra-small to extra-large. “We carry fashion that fits real women,” says Katie. “We want to do everything we can to alleviate the stress that comes from spending too much or from not being able to find something that fits you.” This approach has earned them a following that includes mothers, daughters and grandmothers who often shop together. “Our age group is hard to pin down,” says Katie. “We seem to have everyone from teenagers on up because customers come in with their daughters and they both wind up finding things.”
It makes sense that a shop run by a mother and daughter has attracted a multi-generational following. “We love that we’ve created a store where people feel comfortable shopping for themselves and others,” says Katie. “We love what we do and we’re excited when our customers are excited. When we can help someone put the finishing touches on a look or put together an entire outfit that makes them happy, that’s a great day for us.”
IF YOU GO
Lemon Tree is located at 3915 Chenoweth Square. Call (502) 690-3315 for more information