After months and months of online shopping and browsing department store new arrivals, those looking to spice up their spring wardrobe might be feeling uninspired after seeing the same trends in every store. Buying a dress from Target that hundreds of other women have also been sporting may no longer be appealing, especially since stepping out in style is a luxury post-quarantine. Newly located in Advance, South + Main Boutique touts stylish, local garb that is certain to turn heads this spring season.
Truly a rags to riches tale, boutique owner Thim Phommavanh turned life’s lemons into lemonade after losing her job as a bar manager at Hickory Tavern to the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020. While she had previously worked for a boutique and has always been interested in fashion and home decor, owning her own boutique wasn’t in the cards for her until her devastating lay-off. With the support and encouragement of her boyfriend, Thim used her dining room to open South + Main, and was elated when online sales began picking up. Soon, Thim moved the boutique into a second-floor location in Advance/Bermuda Run that was previously used as an office space. As the boutique continued to grow, however, Thim realized that a larger, more accessible retail space was needed. Just a year after losing her job, Thim and her boutique moved into a brand new location in Advance in March 2021.
What makes South + Main stand apart from other boutiques in the Triad is its family-oriented atmosphere that shoppers feel while browsing the boutique floor. Thim is adamant about being honest with customers and selling only what she believes makes for a good product – not just what’s popular.
Thim explains, “I try to choose merchandise for the boutique that I would personally wear. Of course, trendy items will sell quickly, but I won’t sell something in the shop just because it’s popular at the time.”
With transparency being a key value at South + Main, Thim enjoys bringing her personal life into the boutique, and is frequently visited by her three daughters at work. In fact, the boutique has become a fourth child for Thim, which allows her to demonstrate to the community that running a business is not always “unicorns and rainbows,” especially with the additional stress of running a household, which many business owners manage daily.
Since supporting local businesses is near and dear to Thim’s heart, items sold in-store and online at South + Main come primarily from local vendors. Aside from clothing, many unique accessories, shoes, and decorative items are handpicked and sold at the boutique. Thim and her team are grateful to have had so much support from local residents and the Chamber of Commerce over the last year, which has allowed them to rely on word of mouth and social media for advertising their boutique.
At this rate, Thim hopes to eventually open a second location in Southport, NC, alongside her sister, who has been a major help and support system for Thim. Southport is like a second home to her, which she describes as an “up and coming” spot with many older properties that possess good bones for renovations. Additionally, in years to come, Thim hopes that expanding South + Main will allow her to give back to her parents, who have worked hard throughout their lives to provide for their children. While the size and success of South + Main may grow and change, Thim insists that the boutique’s values and “homey” atmosphere will remain stable over time.
Interested in seeing what South + Main has to offer? Browse the racks in person, or shop online at southandmaininc.com. Check out the boutique’s Facebook page and follow @southandmaininc on Instagram to stay up-to-date on the latest arrivals, business hours, and updates from Thim and her team. Need to shop on the go? Download the free South + Main Boutique app in the App Store or Google Play. For any other inquiries, call the boutique directly at (336) 941-9744.