JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – There’s a little more elbow room at Pretty As a Peach Boutique as the store opened its expanded location at The Mall at Johnson City on Friday.
Store employees and members of the Johnson City Chamber of Commerce joined boutique owner Whitney Babel in a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday morning.
The store originally occupied a small space on the first level, but the new location offers about four times as much space, Babel estimated.
“It’ll be really nice to have strollers and wheelchairs accessibility, better (mobility) around the store as opposed to our old location,” Babel said.
The boutique took over prime real estate near the escalators and food court. Friday’s grand opening prompted a flurry of customers in the store, with some taking advantage of all-day grand opening sales and special gifts.
Babel began her endeavor online in 2016. In four years, her business has grown to encompass three locations (the other two are in Asheville and West Town Mall in Knoxville) while maintaining an anchored online presence in tandem with the three brick-and-mortar locations.
Even though the COVID-19 pandemic added challenges to running a small business, Babel’s business boomed until she needed another location for the small Johnson City store.
“The pandemic has thrown a wrench in things for everyone this year and it’s been a very tough time, and we’re blessed to be able to open the store, of course leap of faith, but it’s something, it’s a risk that we’re willing to take for a bigger store for our customers and also our employees,” Babel said.
Fashion has always been at the forefront of Babel’s mind. Part of her mission as a business owner is to provide affordable, fashionable clothes for all bodies, as the store offers sizes from small to 3XL.
“We want everyone to feel beautiful just the way they are,” she said.