BY JEN OLENICZAK BROWN
Raise your hand if you’ve walked out of a store and felt better than when you walked in because of the staff and experience?
Keep them up if it’s in your community.
Now, still keep them up if this store is a clothing store.
This is the trifecta, right? I’m willing to bet that many of you have had one of these be true in your clothing shopping adventures – all three? Probably not…unless you’ve been to Mainstream Boutique.
The goal for Anitra Mitchel, Mainstream Boutique’s owner, is for women to feel better walking out than when they walked in. “It’s not just a shirt we’re providing them. It’s the opportunity to build women up so they can go out and make a difference.”
Since 2012 the locally owned and operated franchise of Mainstream Boutique has been there while countless women went through life. Mitchell herself has watched women become moms, grandmothers, have kids – even a few kids that are now shopping in the store for themselves! “We just love the community here,” Mitchell says. “We’re here because of the community.”
She also understands that not everyone is a fan of shopping. When I asked about my reluctance to shop, she said, “We meet everyone where they are. If you want to look without someone, we get that. We’re also here when you want some help!” Likening the store to a closet of a best friend, Mitchell gets in new products every day, really listening and communicating with her current, and potential, customers. “Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, we have a Facebook live! We really want everyone to feel comfortable.”
And they deliver on these – I tuned into one and was delighted to see real women, in real sizes, showing some of the fun (and affordable!) pieces in the store. Even though this was the first time I tuned in, I felt like I was watching a group of my friends show me ideas for new outfits, complete with laughter and suggestions. Online ordering is available, and people were holding pieces in comments, right from the live video!
Finally, if you’re looking for that extra help and need a personal touch that isn’t an online app, the store offers personal shopping and lots of friendly help and advice, even if you’re going through one of those clothing-focused life transitions (like this writer, into dressing like an adult!) “One of our favorite things is to help you play dress up,” stated Mitchell. “We’ll walk you around the store, help understand your style, and meet you where you are.” This store and the people in it are trulybigger than a shirt.