Sophie's Boutique opens in Gravette
Published in Westside Eagle Observer
May 18th, 2016
Written by: Susan Holland
GRAVETTE- Sophie's Boutique opened May 4 on Main Street in Gravette, Arkansas. Are you having a family picnic on Memorial Day weekend? Planning a short vacation when the kids get out of school? Have a June wedding to attend? Sophie's is the perfect place to find just the right outfit for any occasion.
Tammie Loyd, owner of Sophie's, and her husband Jason bought the building in September, 2015, and had it remodeled using local contractors. They kept the original ceiling tiles and painted them and the walls a soft gray. Attractive wood laminate covers the floors.
In the corner of the shop is a mirror that originally inspired Loyd to open the business. She and her sister were antique shopping and saw three wooden doors.
"Those would be great to use to make a three-way mirror in the corner of a boutique," she told her sibling.
That prompted a discussion about the possibility of opening a shop.
"My husband and I were just sort of kidding around about it at first. I told him if we bought a building he could put his office in the back and I could open a boutique up front," she said.
The more they talked about the venture, the more serious they became; and, finally, they decided to follow through with their dream.
The Loyd's have been married over 20 years. Jason has had various businesses through the years but Sophie's is Tammie's first venture into operating a business herself. The couple decided to buy a building in Gravette because they love the town and wanted to help bring it to life.
Jason is a Bentonville native and graduated from Bentonville High School. Tammie was born in Joplin, MO. She attended school at Carthage, MO., and graduated from there. She worked in a gift shop on the square in Carthage and really enjoyed the job.
"We had a nice restaurant upstairs. People would come out to eat and come in the shop to buy gifts. I wrapped the gifts and I just loved it," she said.
The Loyd's met when they both worked for Walmart.
"My best friend worked with him and his best friend worked with me," Tammie explained. Jason has three daughters from a previous marriage. Danielle Lower and Lisa Loyd live in Fayetteville. Holly Loyd lives in Bentonville. The couple's son, Jayson, graduated from Gravette High School last Saturday and has a job doing golf course maintenance in Bella Vista. Their daughter Kaitlyn, will be a junior at GHS next year.
The other member of the family is the one for whom the shop is named. Sophie is the family's Havanese dog. The Havanese is a breed developed in Havana, Cuba, and once used by royalty there to herd chickens. Tammie says Sophie will be helping her in the shop because she doesn't like being left at home alone.
"She's tiny but mighty,"she is six pounds but thinks she's 20."
The merchandise available at Sophie's includes nice trendy, but affordable clothes.
"I try to be conscious of the retail price," Tammie said, "and not go beyond what the locals can pay."
She also tries to buy from area manufacturers. One popular line of clothing in the shop is Southern Trend, a company from Fayetteville that makes T-shirts and caps. Other offerings include accessories such as jewelry and scarves.
Sophie's also sells a line of scented candles from Bridgewater Candle Company. The company's motto is "Light a candle. Feed a child." For every jar candle sold, Bridgewater makes a donation to feed an orphaned child for a day.
Clothing sizes at Sophie's are juniors and adults, including "curvy plus sizes. Tammie says she is open to suggestions and anyone having a brand they'd like her to carry should let her know. New merchandise will be arriving every few weeks. An official open house will be held soon at the shop at 115 S.E. Main, west of the Gravette Public Library.
Tammie Loyd, owner of Sophie's Boutique.