Wendy Parker says she came full circle with the May 2 opening of her new store in Holly Springs – Gifted Boutique and Wrappery.
“This is my little girl dream,” she said.
For a dozen years, Parker was a paralegal with a hobby of crafting. In 2010, she took her crafting public and began selling glass magnets on Etsy.com, an online marketplace for handmade goods. Success was not immediate.
“It took six months to make a dime,” she said.
But once it caught on, her business took off.
“It just blew up,” she said.
She left her paralegal job in January 2012.
Gifted Boutique is unique in that much of the merchandise was acquired from Etsy sellers.
“It was important to me to give back to the Etsy community,” Parker said. “When I was selling, I needed someone to buy my products so I could stay home with my daughter.
“I feel a connection with all of the products in my store. I picked every one.”
Along with the carefully selected handmade items, Gifted Boutique stocks several national brands. Parker is an approved vendor for Nora Fleming and Mariposa.
In keeping with her goal of making gift shopping a treat rather than a chore, she has a “wrappery” station near the register. A gift bag option is free, while five other choices are offered for a small fee.
“I did this because I need this option to have my gifts wrapped,” she said. “I wish I could always get my gifts wrapped when I buy them. And then they are pleasantly surprised because it doesn’t look like like it’s been wrapped in the dark.”
Along the same line, Parker has a monthly Gift to Go at the counter, already wrapped. In May, it is a Mariposa tea light.
“I’ve been the person who is on the way to a party and doesn’t have a gift,” she said. “With Gift to Go, you can grab a card and be in and out in two minutes. It’s less stressful. You want everyone to think you have it together.”
It took some time before she decided to settle on Main Street Square in Holly Springs as the right location for her store.
“I stalked a lot of shopping centers,” she said.
During the process, she realized she wanted a smaller, manageable space in a thriving community.
“I didn’t want a huge staff,” she said. “I wanted to run the store.”
To realize her vision, she chose every piece of furniture, every light fixture and was particular about the colors on the walls.
“My intention was to create character and whimsy,” she said. “I do love whimsy.”
The final product met all her expectations.
“It was a long process, but now I just love coming here,” she said.
And she is not alone. Her mother, Suzanne Sheffield, moved from Delaware to help her run the store.
“It wasn’t my dream to be a paralegal or to make magnets,” Parker said. “This was my dream.”
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