Blythe boutique opened last week in Greenville, filling a void of women’s fashion retail in Powder Mill Square. The store is stocked with all sorts of merchandise for fall — pretty sweaters, tops, dresses and a variety of jeans, jewelry and other accessories. Owner Ashley Murphy opened her apparel business in the old Two Sisters location between Starbucks and the space formerly occupied by Peter Kate.
Upon entering the store, you may hear cool music from The Rolling Stones, Billy Joel, Selena Gomez, the Beatles, or any number of popular artists whose records – yes records – Murphy has purchased over the years. She plays the albums on a vintage red turntable, which spins near the dressing rooms.
Murphy hoped to open her boutique in early August. But the first-time store owner said the construction project took longer than expected. She’s looking forward to the store’s grand opening, which kicks off on Friday, September 7th. All weekend long customers will enjoy in-store giveaways and chances to win gift cards from Blythe and other businesses in the Powder Mill Shopping center.
As TSD first reported in April, Murphy has experience working at several retail locations in the Wilmington area and feels Greenville is the perfect spot to launch a new women’s apparel store.
“I am excited to welcome customers to Blythe (Murphy’s middle name). It sometimes feels like I still haven’t woken up from a dream,” said Murphy. “It took a lot of work to open, but it’s been worth it because I think we made some good decisions to ensure that the store is inviting and attractive.”
Shoppers coming through the front door encounter a relaxing sitting area with a tufted emerald green velvet couch, a pair of patterned black and white chairs, and a tic-tac-toe game (sitting atop a coffee table) that has already entertained several little ones who have accompanied their moms to the store.
Wearing a casual pair of jeans and a yellow v-neck striped t-shirt, Murphy says her personality comes through in many of the apparel choices. “There’s definitely a lot of me in here.”
While she hopes everyone will find something they like in her store, she did have a couple of targeted ideas. “One of my goals was to create a mother-daughter shopping experience. I’m hoping that if a mom and her daughter are in here that they’re both going to find something,” she said.
Blythe’s merchandise is a mix of upscale and items that are more reasonably-priced, and that’s another goal of Murphy’s – to make sure price points appeal to a wide audience. She sells five different brands of jeans, which range from $88 to $250. “You wouldn’t be able to tell the difference; the $88 brand of jeans (Blank NYC) are amazing. That’s been my whole focus – finding clothes that are a decent price, comfortable and look adorable every day.”
Unquestionably, her most popular denim is Khloe Kardashian’s Good American Jeans. “They are my favorite. They come in so many sizes, and they’ve been flying off the shelves. I haven’t even been open a week and I’ve already had to re-order them.”
Handbags, candles, jewelry and other accessories were selected because of personal relationships Murphy made with vendors when she embarked on her shopping excursions for the store. Many brands “give back.”
“I learned the stories behind their brands, and their missions define their brands. I have a line where with every t-shirt that is sold, they hand deliver a bag of groceries to children in underserved communities. And my nail polish is all vegan. This nail polish – 20% of the profits go to the National Organization for Women. It’s actually some of these smallest details about my brands that means a lot to me.”
Murphy herself a Millennial doesn’t have a website yet. But Blythe is on social media: Instagram @blythe.greenville and @shopblythe. And you can stop by the store any time from 10 am to 6 pm every day of the week. (On Thursdays, the store stays open until 7 pm, and on Sunday the boutique closes at 2 pm.)
Murphy considers her new business an extension of herself and her second home. She promises a welcoming smile for anyone who comes in the door. “I want people who visit my store to feel happy. I hope you feel like you are in my house when you’re here.”