Webster’s Dictionary describes ‘a calling’ as: a strong urge toward a particular way of life or career; a vocation. Most of us think of the priesthood, nurses, or teachers when we hear that expression. However, for one passionate Davie County woman, her calling comes in the form of kimonos, jeans, and accessories.
Since October of 2019, Suzanne Lakey, along with her husband Bryan, have owned and operated the Southern Ties Boutique in downtown Mocksville. Before purchasing the business, formerly located in Farmington, Suzanne’s path in life involved photography, marketing, sales, and motherhood. You could even say that her love for clothing retail started as a teenager when she worked in her mom Kathy Miller’s clothing store! Next up was online clothing sales, which she jumped into in 2017 and enjoyed as it grew her interest in fashion. However, Suzanne recognized that she was missing a crucial piece of the interaction, which her heart yearned for: seeing customers, face to face. “I knew something had to change but I wasn’t sure what,” says Suzanne when speaking of her transition to boutique ownership.
Suzanne, a busy mother to four girls between the ages of 16 and 6, said that she looked at Facebook one afternoon while waiting in the carpool line and there it was! She saw a post announcing the closing of the Southern Ties Boutique in Farmington. Although Suzanne and her mom once had a photography studio in the same building where the shop was at that time, she had never visited the Boutique and so seeing such a random post could have only been a “God thing.”
Her first call was to her husband, Bryan, who encouraged her to call the owner to see if a purchase of the business might be an option. With his blessing and a feeling about it that she just couldn’t shake, Suzanne mustered up the courage and called the owner of the Boutique and asked about the possibility of buying it. That woman’s reaction?
“I have been praying for this phone call… I have been praying for you.” A few more calls and some paperwork later, and Suzanne and Bryan found themselves the new owners of Southern Ties Boutique – just a few short and fast weeks after that fateful day when Suzanne looked at Facebook!
As the new owner, Suzanne enjoyed her first year in business in the charming Farmington building that housed Southern Ties Boutique. However, as owners of The Station General Store and Taproom on North Main Street in Mocksville, they really liked the idea of adding another business to Mocksville’s vibrant downtown and having their two businesses near one another. Another unexpected conversation led them to find their current location at 157 N. Main Street. As Suzanne puts it “every door opened.”
As she prepares for a busy summer season, Suzanne credits her amazing customers and the feeling of true community that Mocksville has to offer with the success of Southern Ties Boutique. Her energetic and customer-oriented team is a big part of that, too! Pop into the Boutique to meet who she calls her “So Ties Gals” Crystal, Olivia, and Carly.
“It’s very important to me to keep the feel of a small town boutique alive,” says Suzanne when she talks about the terrific response they have had to their online shopping presence. While she does want to grow that presence, serving people face to face is where the real magic of Southern Ties Boutique is. “I know that I was meant to do this… I love dressing people from head to toe and seeing them feel confident and beautiful! We carry each piece in all sizes, from small to 3X because beautiful comes in all sizes and we want there to be something for everyone.”
Suzanne is a joyful presence who exudes a sincere passion for what she does. She is not only a fabulous example of what can happen when you follow your heart, but she is also setting a stellar example for her four daughters of how a hard working mom can share her gifts while still finding fulfillment.
Make a plan to visit Southern Ties Boutique (and all the great shops in Mocksville) at 157 North Main Street, Suite 100, and online at southerntiesboutique.com. For some real fun, download the Southern Ties Boutique App on your phone!