PHOTOS BY JODIE BRIM
I don’t know about you, but I am ready to shop after last year.
It seems like staying home so much made me excited to get things in my wardrobe – the whole athletic-leisure trend of 2020 is ready to head back into the depths of my closet for a good long while. Good thing there is a new boutique specifically for that level-up located in the West End area of downtown Winston-Salem: Evelyn Rose Boutique.
“Customers can expect a fun, elevated but relaxed shopping experience,” said owner Rachel Morales. “They can expect to find pretty pieces to add to their wardrobe as well as great basic staple items.” Located at 916 Burke Street near the corner of Brookstown, walking up to the store you’re immediately struck by the rose-pink panels and trim gold lettering flanking the shop door and front window. Inside, a small, intimate setting with a carefully curated selection of exactly what Rachel describes: swingy dresses, casual and dressy tops, fun bottoms from playful skirts to jeans, and accessories that can make every outfit personalized.
“Most of the time women come in alone, so I want them to feel like they are still shopping with a friend even if they’re by themselves,” Rachel said. “So customers can also expect to find me there! I truly want it to feel like retail therapy.”
As a long-time lover of clothes and fashion, Rachel’s dream of opening a retail store coupled with a desire to help women feel their best made her dream an achievable reality. “Personally,” she said, “the way I dress affects the way I feel, and I knew many women who struggled with shopping or styling.” The trendy shop isn’t the start, however – it was a traveling airstream that brought the inspiration for the brand. “When I got the airstream, I was inspired by the retro aesthetic of it and I immediately thought of my great-grandmother, Evelyn,” said Rachel. “Her name always stuck out to me as unique, feminine, and had a classic and vintage sound. I already knew I wanted to incorporate a rose because I love what the pink rose symbolizes – grace and elegance. When I thought of Evelyn, it fit perfectly with Rose – and matched the vibe of the business and brand.”
While it might seem like everything came up synergistically for Rachel and her brand, the boutique has more to its origin story than a nostalgic name and incredible logo. “I did some research and planning on how to make my dream a reality and began there,” said Rachel. “I started with making a connection with a clothing vendor that was so supportive and helpful. We started online while the mobile boutique in the airstream was being renovated. The airstream grabs a lot of attention and gave us more exposure, so once we were in the airstream, business picked up.”
And then 2020 happened. “We started with the Airstream mobile boutique before the pandemic. We were participants in big markets and events across the state and were getting ready to travel out of state more.”
And like so many other businesses, the pandemic changed the market, and Rachel pivoted. “We were starting to get repeat customers and what they were looking for was different than shoppers at a pop-up event, and the brick-and-mortar store allowed us to better cater to our local clientele. They know exactly where and when to find us as opposed to an ever-changing pop-up schedule.”
Cue the storefront where you can shop Tuesday through Saturday, 11 am to 6 pm. While this sounds like a dream come true, Rachel isn’t done. “I hope that Evelyn Rose will become more than a boutique and create a community of women with like-minded taste in fashion and life, who support each other while looking fabulous. It’s something women can bond over and relate to each other about,” said Rachel. “Many times our customers are just as supportive of a stranger trying things on, telling them how good they look and complimenting them. I love when someone is skeptical about an item and then they try it and look amazing, and you can see their confidence and mood increase 1000%.”
While Rachel is currently focused on building the confidence of women in Forsyth County through Evelyn Rose Boutique, she’s got big long-term dreams, “I would love to expand and even open a second or third location in the future, explore starting our own clothing line, and expand into other categories like girls’ clothing, and maybe even men’s!”
In the meantime, one thing is for certain: stop into Evelyn Rose and shop with your new shopping friend Rachel. “We’re here to make you look fabulous!”
Visit Evelyn Rose Boutique Tuesday – Saturday, 11 am-6 pm at 916 Burke Street or www.shopevelynroseboutique.com/.