Mississippi House of Fashion adds flavor to Natchez fashion scene

Published 2:20 pm Tuesday, February 1, 2022

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NATCHEZ — Mississippi House of Fashion Owner Jessica Hawkins cut the ribbon to officially open her business at 414 Main Street in Natchez recently.

With John Grady Burns and by her side, she is keeping a tradition going in the Burns Shoe Store location, which first opened over 100 years ago. 

Natchez’s former community liaison took a leap of faith when she left her position with the city. She loved her liaison position but knew she had to start a new chapter too. 

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Hawkins said it took about eight months to start her business. 

“It was time for me to take a step out and work towards accomplishing my dreams,” Hawkins said. “I knew I had to do it. I know you have to devote a lot of time.They were all so supportive. It was bittersweet.”

Bringing flavor to fashion 

Her goal for the store is to bring flavor to the fashion industry in Natchez. She loves fashion and helping people discover more about themselves. 

Fashion is one of the ways people shape their identity. It is a spectrum with both conservative dark and neutral colors to vibrant and colorful. 

Everyone has their own style, she said. For example, cheetah print is one of her favorite styles. 

“Every Wednesday, I would get something at the store. It’s how I learned what I liked and it was self care for myself,” Hawkins said. 

The store’s inventory is a blend of custom made clothes and brands. It was a process to figure out what fashion would work well in the community, she said. 

Mississippi House of Fashion’s interior follows a theme each month. Their theme for January to February is Heaven on Earth. Inside, the business is bright with gold, green and a rainbow of colors. 

Their biggest challenge for opening the business was staying motivated, she said. 

“Through it all we kept going,” Hawkins said. “I learned this community will encourage you. No matter what. Keep going and keep moving. I know it will be a beautiful thing.” 

Tailoring personal style 

Mississippi House of Fashion’s hours on Friday and Saturday are from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m.. Monday through Thursday is for personal styling and is by appointment only.

Personal styling gives Hawkins an opportunity to meet with a customer to determine what style they want. She created a style for them that they will enjoy.

It is normal for people to be nervous for a personal styling appointment, she said. However, once a person takes a deeper dive, they become more comfortable with different styles. Additionally, the store has different sizes for everybody. 

“I enjoy working with people who are willing to try,” Hawkins said. “If something doesn’t work we move on to the next style.”