Hot Lox Salon and Boutique, located at 1703 City Ave. N., Ripley, is a one-stop shop that’s got their customers covered from head to toe, offering hair styling, clothes, and shoes, all in the same location. This innovative family-owned local business is the brainchild of Ripley residents, Monica and John Martindale. Monica has been in the hair business since 1992 and opened a salon since 1993 in Ripley’s Springdale subdivision. “I’ve always loved shopping, clothes, and bargains. Ripley had a small local shop that carried shoes and clothes. It was my ‘go to,’ and it had brands that no one else locally had,” Martindale recalls. She thought, “Maybe we can incorporate shoes into the salon and have it as a good offset.” Her husband, John, was on board with the idea, and the couple, with no retail experience, began researching on the Internet. Soon, they were offering name brand shoes at competitive prices from inside their salon. “Even if it’s $5 or $50 we are going to beat the prices on Amazon and the ‘big box’ stores,” Martindale said. Word of mouth spread, the business grew, and the couple relocated 6 years ago to their current location (address). Hot Lox Boutique prides itself on carrying quality shoes that feel good and look good. “That’s not always easy to find,” explained Martindale. She and John hit the Atlanta shoe market twice a year, and Monica acts like Cinderella on their buying trips, trying on all the shoes herself to find the perfect fit.
The business is a family affair. John and the couple’s 16-year-old twins, Ava and Kylie, have been involved since they were 8 years old. In addition to running their retail location inside the salon, the family sells at the Tupelo Flea Market once a month. “We have lots of loyal customers from Alabama, Tennessee, Arkansas—all over,” Martindale explained. “Our girls used to play on a blanket at the shows, and now they set up the store better than I do,” she laughs. Their girls know shoes, can assist customers in getting the right fit, and “they’ve been such good helpers, whether they stay in the business or not,” Martindale said.
The family loves making new friends at the specialty shows, and they take pride in being able to offer a great product at a great price. In addition, the family tries to give away shoes each month to bless others who need it. They seek out opportunities to help others in need and have contacted teachers when they have leftover shoes to try to pay it forward to students in need. The family has plans to keep growing and expanding their product lines. Currently, Hey Dude, Sketchers (which didn’t ship during pandemic), Corky’s, Blowfish, and Diba True are the top sellers. “Diba True’s number one Westhaven Boot can be styled with dresses, leggings, or jeans,” Martindale says. The boutique’s price range is $20-up and has much more to offer than shoes. On-trend women’s fashions, athleisure, college sweatshirts, and a variety of “happies,” are in abundance for potential holiday gifts: brands such as Swig, Jane Marie, Kitch Stitch, Magnolia products.
Some hot trends going into 2022 include tennis shoes and casualwear, gravitating toward comfort. “This is the most casual era we have ever gone through,” Martindale said. Winter is a comfortable season, and the sweatshirts and joggers are here to stay. Also, even though it used to be a “no-no” after Labor Day: “White boots are on trend: anything white.”
Hot Lox Boutique is inside Hot Lox Salon. The Salon is open 10-5:30 M-F, Saturday 9:30-2 pm. The Boutique is open during those days and times, except for Mondays (only the salon is open that day). Monica can be contacted through Hot Lox’s Facebook page or at the shop: 662) 512-5100. Shipping available. Special sales are coming up soon; just check the Facebook page for updates.