Boutiques take over Broad St.Published 10:24pm Monday, May 6, 2013
With a recent ribbon cutting last week, Broad Street may have a new nickname — “Boutique Street.” The Selma-Dallas County Chamber of Commerce welcomed Teja’s, a specialty boutique that sells clothing, accessories and other unique gift items. Teja’s is now occupying the space where the Truax & Co. once was, just next to Butler Truax Jewlry Co. where the two businesses share some of the same space.
Along the same side of Broad Street is Lily Pad, which is a children’s clothing boutique, women’s clothing boutiques like It’s All About Me and Allez-Oup and gift shops like Carter’s Books and Gifts. Some Selma business owners say the arrival of more boutiques are fitting into a vision of what Selma could be — a city focused on a lively downtown where a unique shopping experience can be delivered on foot.
“The more cute places there are, then the more people will come — even from out of town, and we would love for this to be a destination for surrounding areas,” said business owner Anne Murray, who runs Allez-Oup clothing boutique and Carter’s Books and Gifts. Murray said she wishes for there to be even more boutiques and shops opened along “Boutique Street,” like a tea room for lunches or even a place for live music and entertainment.
“Its just great to see our downtown thriving,” Murray said. “And we love our new neighbors at Teja’s.”
Owner of Teja’s, Kateja Schmitt, said she doesn’t consider the neighboring boutiques competition.
“We are just bringing more variety to Selma and so this variety will not only attract locals, but people from outside of Selma,” Schmitt said. “I offer people some of the same things here but it is great because it gives the customer a choice and each thing is a little bit different from store to store.”
Schmitt, like other business owners said she envisions downtown Selma being a place where if someone goes out to the post office, they will also take another hour or so to stroll down Broad Street, enjoy the day and go shopping. The historical aspect in Selma draws in tourists and visitors, Schmitt said, but she asked herself what is beyond the historical aspect of the city. She said shopping could be the answer.
“All of these boutiques have their own special options so people in Selma now really have alternative shopping and can shop locally for almost everything,” said Sheryl Smedley, executive director for the Selma and Dallas County Chamber of Commerce, who is always reminding the city of the economic benefits to buying local.
Smedley said the arrival of new boutiques in addition to downtown loft apartments created by Real Estate Gallery is a mixed usage of the downtown. People utilize the river for recreation, the stores for shopping and the history for multiple purposes. Smedley hopes a combination of these assets in the city will attract more visitors and continue to develop Selma and Dallas County.
“With the river which everyone is always talking about, and we have this historic downtown that has so much character and so much to offer, with this mixed usage we will hopefully be able to attract more developers to our city and we are opening new doors and concepts for our downtown,” Smedley said.