Lacy Leigh comes home

Published 12:00 am Sunday, February 8, 2009

Vidalia — Lacy Boykin has worked in some of fashion’s most happening cities, most recently Dallas.

But when she decided it was time to open her own clothing business, none of those big cities were on her list of locations.

Instead Boykin’s fashion radar stopped in her hometown of Vidalia where she opened her boutique, Lacy Leigh’s, on Dec. 1.

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“People ask me all the time ‘Why didn’t you open this in Dallas? Dallas is fashion heaven,’” Boykin said. “I told them, ‘If I’m going to do this, why not do it in my hometown?’

“Vidalia needs something like this.”

The 30-year-old graduated from Vidalia High School and Louisiana Tech with a degree in fashion merchandising. Boykin has worked in California and Dallas with Fossil and was managing the Fossil clothing store in Dallas before returning home.

Lacy Leigh’s is open from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Saturdays. The store is located at 4004 Carter St. in Vidalia, across the street from Walmart and in the same shopping center as Anytime Fitness and Afterglow Tanning salon.

Boykin said her goal is to have a women’s clothing store that offers something for every woman. She is trying to accomplish that by welcoming questions from customers and suggestions on merchandise and styles.

Currently she has jeans, pants, dresses, shirts and blouses along with handbags, jewelry and other accessories in stock.

“I know that is a bold statement to say I want to have something for every woman, but I don’t want anyone to feel like they can’t come in here and find something they like,” Boykin said.

Specifically, Boykin is bringing in styles that she says are “more conservative” because customers’ feedback has indicated a need for fashionable clothing that isn’t too over-the-top.

“People here don’t dress old by any means,” Boykin said “But I don’t want people to feel this is a juvenile place.”

Boykin said she constantly looking for new lines to bring to the store that will expand her customer base.

“I’m looking to carry a new line of denim in the coming month that is most suited for curvier women,” she said. “Not everyone can wear the jeans I can because they aren’t as tall.”

Along with a new line of jeans, Boykin is also expecting new dresses, belts, sunglasses and shoes to be arriving in time for spring and summer that will further her goal of getting “something for everyone.”

“Everyone can wear shoes,” she said.

Boykin also said she had a couple of “trendy and edgy things that are coming that I want to be a surprise.”

Boykin said she has always wanted to open her own store and has used her time working for others to gather tips that she hopes will make Lacy Leigh’s a success.

“I’ve picked up little things everywhere I’ve been,” she said.

One of the little things she learned is that no one wants to wear the same thing as everyone else. And for that reason, she doesn’t bulk order anything.

She said her line of Miss Me jeans is something that she thinks will really catch on.

“There’s not going to be 24 people wearing the same shirt,” she said. “When I order, it’s more than likely going to be a size run.”

And though she calls her store a boutique, Boykin doesn’t want people to think she is too pricey. She said it would be easy for people to get an entire outfit, including accessories for less than $100.

“I don’t want people to think boutique—pricey,” I want them to think boutique—unique,” she said.

Her extensive retail experience also served as a guide when she decided to take the leap from store manager to store owner. Boykin said she drew on the knowledge base she gained from managing stores like Gap and Fossil when she was planning her store.

“I haven’t really been overwhelmed by anything yet because I’ve done a little of everything before,” Boykin said.

But don’t think she is just relying on her experience, Boykin said that’s not the case at all. Boykin said she is always looking for something new and asking what people want to see.

“I’m always open for suggestions,” she said. “I want to be here for a long time.”