Darren Doyle, story and photos:
Edmonson County's newest retail location celebrated it's grand opening and official ribbon cutting with the Edmonson County Chamber of Commerce today; South Bound Boutique and Stacy's On Main, on Chalybeate Road.
The retail store, located at 3340 Chalybeate Road in the Byrd Center, is a collaboration from local college students Alex-Shae Horn and Lauren Ballance, who run South Bound, and retired educator Stacy Raymer, owner of Stacy's on Main. Mrs. Raymer is also known as "The Sweatshirt Lady."
Horn and Ballance, who graduated ECHS together in 2020, wanted to do something together after school, and each saw a need for local affordable women's apparel, especially what's known locally as "church-length" dresses.
"We got together, pitched in some money, and just wanted to get things started," said Horn. "We were online-only for a little while and then we started opening up a couple times a month. It was phenomenal how people responded to that. But then Stacy came to us and asked if we'd be interested in opening up a store and we were like, why not?"
The store offers offers a little bit of everything for young, middle-aged, and older women, in a variety of designs and sizes.
"We're hoping that Chalybeate embraces us," said Raymer. "So far, we've had a great week with a soft opening and hopefully even more will come out today."
Mrs. Raymer said that the store is planning several events throughout the year, which include "Food Truck Fridays."
"Every Friday we're shooting for having a different food truck here, so people can come out and eat and shop at the same time. We also plan on having multiple vendor events. We've got a great parking lot and space for that. We're excited and we'll have some community events, just to help build more community spirit."
The store offers shirts, tops, jeans, and dresses, but the team is hoping to add shoes, home decor, and other items.
"We really want to offer affordable prices," said Ballance. "So many places you go into now are like, oh gosh, look at the price on that, and that's something we want to change for our community."
Both Horn and Ballance juggle college, the boutique, and other responsibilities, but so far, so good.
"The first month we opened back in September, we had three items," said Horn. "Now we have all this inventory and it's such a blessed feeling. We love Edmonson County and feel blessed to bring something here."
Edmonson Chamber Director Greg Hudson said despite the rain, the crowd was good and folks were enthused about today's event.
"We were a bit worried when we saw the forecast but it's obvious that people were excited about our ribbon cutting today," he said. "We're grateful to see another business open in Edmonson County and we wish South Bound and Stacy's all the best. The Chamber continues to work hard to promote local business in Edmonson County."
The store is open Tuesday- Friday from 10AM- 6PM & Saturday from 10AM- 4PM. They can be contacted through Facebook and Instagram, and by phone, 270-935-9100, or 270-792-0534.