NEW ALBANY – As far as mamas and grand-mamas are concerned, there is no such thing as “too cute” when shopping for their little princesses, and Between Sisters Gifts and Boutique offers them trendy, unique choices at affordable prices.
“I guess you’d say this is a hobby that turned into a business,” said Pat Taylor, who, along with her sister, Lisa Stout, opened their first location in Pontotoc in 2004. “I’ve always been into fashion, like clothing, jewelry and purses, and I’m blessed to be able to do it for a living, now,” Taylor said.
Taylor’s shop, at 114 Chrystal Plaza Drive, is a wonderland of dainty, pretty things, like sympathy gifts, collegiate items, and home decor, the kind of exquisite items that one customer, Amanda True, called “happies.”
“This shop has little happies for teachers, or coworkers,” said True. “If your budget is $20, or $100, you can find a gift here.”
Near the shop’s entrance, a line of Christian-themed jewelry, called My Saint, My Hero, was on display. One delicate piece was called the True North Compass Cross Bracelet, and came with a card. “Life is a journey,” the inscription read. “Our compass is the cross.”
Nearby was a display of children’s books, one titled “Little Lamb’s Perfect Day,” with a storybook and an adorable, wooly doll inside.
The scent of candles, from the South Carolina-based Bridgewater Candle Company, added to the lithe, feminine pleasantness of the shop. The scent named “Sweet Grace,” had a clean, honeyed smell, like cotton candy. Each candle had the picture and name of a child, from countries like Rwanda, Honduras, and India, that Bridgewater, in partnership with Rice Bowls, helped feed.
Service with compassion is stitched into the business model Taylor and Stout created. For twenty years, Taylor worked in banking and finance, and her sister, whom she called the entrepreneur, owns a flooring store. Stout convinced her sister to follow her heart and open the first location.
The sisters did well, and enjoyed their time in Pontotoc, but for years they wanted to open in Taylor’s hometown of New Albany. Just as they were making plans for the move, in 2011, Stout discovered she had cancer.
“We felt like God was telling us to put the move on hold for a while, so we did,” said Taylor.
With Stout in remission, the sisters opened the New Albany shop last September, and the community has received them well, Taylor said.
In a commercial landscape jammed with big box stores, shoppers enjoy the unique selections and personal treatment they get in small, locally owned shops, Taylor said.
On a recent Tuesday, Jackie Littlejohn came in looking for an outfit for her soon-to-arrive grandson. Salesperson Anna Kate Stanford helped Littlejohn pick out a cream-colored onesie, with little anchors and sails, perfect for a tiny sailor.
Samantha Eaton shopped for her four-month-old daughter. She selected a pistachio-colored garment with a pink flamingo, by the popular brand Mud Pie.
“I love how friendly they are in here,” Eaton said, adding that she recently purchased a photo album, destined to become a family keepsake.
T-shirts, from trendy brands, like Jane Marie and Southern Couture, with pithy sayings, like “Sorry, Not Sorry,” are big sellers, Taylor said, along with tees from Mississippi Hippie.
A rack of Swan Creek candles, set in collectible pottery, with delicious-sounding scents, like elderberry and rosewater, as well as Southern sweet tea, lined one wall, near a collection of crosses, diaries, and devotional materials.
New Albany pottery artist Daphne Taylor had her Clay Creek collection on display as well.
Between Sisters also embroiders, Taylor said.
Being part of the New Albany business community is an honor, Taylor said. She loves being in business with her sister, and catering to women of all ages, helping brighten their days.
“We’re just a small-town, family-owned business, passionate about what we do,” said Taylor. “We want people’s shopping experiences to be delightful, so they’ll want to shop local.”
Between Sisters Gifts and Boutique is open Mon.-Sat., 10 a.m.- 5 p.m. Also visit the shop’s pages on Facebook and Instagram.