ABERDEEN – Divaz Gift Boutique owner Latrina Bean-Davis has been enjoying her busiest year yet and with Mother’s Day, graduation season and Father’s Day quickly approaching, she is not slowing down any time soon.
“The gift business has been booming, and this has been the best year since I’ve been open. For Valentine’s, I did probably 100 baskets and delivered several to some of the local industries. I’ve been busy since Christmas with custom-made gifts like personalized jewelry boxes. People really like that personal touch,” she said.
The store’s four-year anniversary is May 9, and it has provided a dream come true for Bean-Davis.
“It’s always been my dream as a little girl. I always loved clothes, heels and jewelry. It’s every girl’s dream to open a boutique, and I acted on my dream,” she said.
She started making gift baskets and jewelry from home before opening her store alongside Main Street. She said organizations such as the Monroe County Chamber of Commerce and Aberdeen Main Street and events such as the Christmas parade and Pilgrimage have helped business immensely.
“I love the merchant events like Christmas Open House and the Wassail Fest. It’s good Aberdeen has something that helps bring people downtown,” she said.
In previous years, Aberdeen Main Street facilitated a promotion allowing people to collect raffle tickets by shopping local. Winning tickets were drawn for cash prizes during that year’s Christmas parade.
“From Christmas Open House to the Christmas parade, for that whole month, it generated a lot of attention downtown,” Bean-Davis said.
As far as Divaz Gift Boutique’s inventory, shoppers can find pocket maxi dresses in several different styles, shoes, custom-made T-shirts, door wreaths, gift baskets, jewelry, sunglasses and dresses suitable for formal occasions, proms and pageants.
“In the next year, I want to look at getting men’s apparel. When I first started, I had some, but women shop, shop, shop. A lot of men come in to shop for their wives, and they’ve been asking if I’d start selling men’s stuff,” Bean-Davis said.
As far as her gift baskets, she caters them to customers’ requests, which could include snacks, stuffed animals, soaps, perfumes, lotions or even dresses.
In addition to her brick and mortar presence, Bean-Davis said Facebook has helped boost business.
“I sell a lot of merchandise from the store’s Facebook page and my own personal page. I even get orders from my model, Shekita Blanchard’s, page,” she said.