A few years ago, when the owner of the Nashville boutiques Claire’s Grace and Sweet Pea, Paisley Grace, opened the doors of her namesake store in the downtown shopping district, she made a conscious decision to sell only her signature products, like sweet peas and apricots, to avoid having to pay taxes on those imports.
Now, Claire’s will open her second boutique store, located on the same floor as her original one, in downtown Nashville, and she hopes to expand her business in the city that she grew up in.
But in a city where the most popular grocery store is in the suburbs, it’s still unclear if her business will remain as niche as it was at first.
“I know a lot of people don’t want to see us go away, and I know a few of them would like to see a bigger store open in their area, but we just feel like we have to be honest with ourselves and tell them that we’re not going to be able to compete anymore,” said Claire’s executive vice president, Rachel Tabor, when she opened her second store last month.
“We are a bit of an outlier, but I think it’s been good for the market.”
As for the future of her other namesake brand, Claire Grace, the new boutique store and its plans to expand will take on a whole new meaning for the brand’s founder, Sarah Tabor.
She said she was very excited about opening the first store after being inspired by the community of people who shopped there when she was a teenager.
“There are so many great memories that we have made here,” she said.
“This is a place where I want to be for my kids, my grandchildren and my great-grandchildren, and that’s going to continue.”
Read more: A new Nashville boutique chain is launching in the heart of the city