At least once a week, Kaitlynn Hall and Haley Weaver try on new outfits, then go live on Facebook and Instagram. But they aren’t just influencing on social media, they’re running a successful new business.
The 22-year-old best friends and college students say modeling the latest fashion arrivals at their new boutique, Sugar Maple Roots, is a great way to connect with customers.
“We do have a lot of online customers,” Hall said, “and they like to see us try it on, see what the clothes look like on us, the material, how it fits.”
Weaver and Hall will gladly ship online purchases, but they’re just as glad to welcome customers inside Sugar Maple Roots at 366 Ragland Road to try things on for themselves.
“We have super cute fitting rooms,” Hall said.
Even cuter, though, are the fashions.
“We love fashion,” Weaver said.
The trendy entrepreneurs carefully select affordable clothing items from online vendors, and they say they look forward to attending and purchasing from in-person fashion markets in big cities like Atlanta, once Covid settles down.
In keeping with their brand — a name that honors the state tree and their West Virginia roots — Weaver and Hall, of course, keep West Virginia-themed fashions on hand, “but really we carry more Western clothes. Not a lot of places here do that. It’s very contemporary.”
Sugar Maple Roots features women’s clothing for all sizes, including plus sizes, at prices under $60.
“Sometime people hear the word ‘boutique,’ and they think expensive, but our items are very affordable,” Hall said.
“It is all women’s clothing now, but we plan on starting a baby boutique soon,” she added. That idea has a lot to do with the fact that women hope to bring their own babies to work someday, so it’s likely that fashion items from the baby boutique may be modeled online, too.
“We’ve always wanted to have our own business since we were little,” Weaver said, explaining the girls grew up as best friends even though Weaver graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School and Hall attended Shady Spring and Wyoming County high schools.
“Whenever Covid hit, we were just sitting around the house, bored, and we thought, ‘now would be a good time,’ ” Hall recalled.
But that wasn’t just the whim of a couple of fashionistas. They’ve studied. Hall will be graduating in May from Concord University, with a degree in business management, and Weaver is a Health Science major at West Virginia State University, planning to graduate this summer.
The women started their business small, back in August, online, from Hall’s house, but things grew more quickly than they expected.
“We’ve been blessed,” Hall said. “We had a room full of clothes and were getting new stuff once a week, so we outgrew it.”
When Hall heard about space available beside her child’s Kindermusik class at Crescendo House, the two business owners jumped at the chance. For now, their hours are Tuesday and Wednesday from 4 to 8 p.m., Thursday and Friday, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
“We’re playing around with the hours right now to see what works best,” Hall said.
For the most up-to-date hours and owner-modeled fashion shows, visit Sugar Maple Roots on Facebook, visit shopsurgarmapleroots.com, or call 681-238-5312.
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