Photo by Jay Paul
Less than a year after graduating from the College of Textiles at North Carolina State University, Sarah Estes returned home to Midlothian to apply what she'd learned in school. On March 15, Sarah and her mother, Cathy Estes, opened The S.E.E. Boutique (shopseeboutique.com) at Sycamore Square Shopping Center. The buttercream-color shop carries bohemian-chic clothing, jewelry, accessories and gifts.
Prior to opening, Sarah and Cathy frequented local antiques stores and flea markets to source the distressed-wood dressers and velvet-upholstered chairs that decorate the shop's lilac-gray interior. They found the boutique's chandeliers at local home-décor retailer Shades of Light. "I wanted a shop where I knew my mom and I would be able to find something," Sarah says, adding that she designed the 700-square-foot boutique to have an Anthropologie-like feel, "but not necessarily that price point," she says.
Named for Sarah's initials, the shop carries blouses for $40, maxi dresses for $200 and designer jeans for $150. Sarah utilizes her background in textiles to assess the fabric and construction quality of each garment they carry — much of which is 100 percent silk and pima cotton — and once an item is sold, she doesn't re-order it. "We tried to [stock] clothing that can appeal to every generation," Cathy says of the boutique, which features brands such as Free People, Greylin and Charlie Jade. For the summer, the pair is carrying palazzo pants in bold prints, brightly colored fashion shorts, Aztec-print scarves and more.
"It's one of those fun little things that's in the family now," Sarah says. "It's brought a lot of joy in our life."