The Peach Boutique to be a one-stop-shop for all things glitz and glam in the county
RAVENSWOOD — Shara Shamblin has been a seamstress for 22 years. She has a vision every time she makes one of her daughters’ pageant gowns, and now she’s bringing another to life — opening a formalwear consignment shop.
As a pageant mom, she knows how much time, money and energy go into preparing for each event. She saw a need for a formal consignment shop in Jackson County. She wants to help people save money and get rid of dresses collecting dust in their closets.
Shamblin has been a pageant mom for nearly a decade — she has three daughters who compete. When her daughters fell down the rabbit hole of pageantry, Shamblin wasn’t too far behind them.
She's putting up her nurse scrubs for the boutique. She loves pageantry so much she’s become the pageant director for the West Virginia Cupcake Festival and the Hurricane 4th of July Celebration.
“We just got hooked,” she said. “The more that we did the pageants, the more we wanted to be involved.”
She said she’s found a loving and welcoming community in the pageant world, and she wants her boutique to be an inviting one-stop shop for people in the area looking for discounted formalwear and alterations.
Shamblin will offer customers discounted alterations with the purchase of formalwear. Size will never be an issue at The Peach Boutique.
“I can alter and customize it so if it can't fit I'll make it fit,” she said. “If they find something they like we will make it fit.”
Since people are bringing in inventory, Shamblin hasn’t had to break the bank with her business startup.
She isn’t a stranger to Jackson County, but she just moved to Ravenswood from the Gold Town area. Being on a farm was wonderful, she said, but the lack of phone service and internet connection was too isolating during a pandemic.
She discovered what’s now her shop right after moving to Ravenswood when she was driving through town. Rent for her quaint building is $550 a month and she’s been purchasing peach decorations here and there to embrace the fruity theme.
Opening the boutique has been a family affair for the Shamblin’s.
Daniel Shamblin, Shara’s husband said he wasn’t surprised at all when he learned she wanted to open her own formalwear consignment shop.
Her husband works during the day, but in the evenings and on the weekends he can be found at the boutique helping his wife with some final touches.
“He’s very handy,” she said with a chuckle.
Want to be a consigner?
An opening date for The Peach Boutique hasn’t been decided yet. Shara is focusing all her time and energy sorting through her current inventory and trying to get more people to bring their dresses, shoes and other formalwear items.
She began taking consigners last week. There are about 100 items — five racks full — in Shara’s boutique, but she wants more so future customers can have plenty of options when shopping for a special occasion.
“I would love to have 1,000,” she said with a grin.
The Peach Boutique welcomes all sizes of formalwear and hopes to have items from infants to young adults.
Anyone interested in becoming a consigner at the Ravenswood boutique can do so through multiple channels. Potential consigners can contact Shara through the shop’s Facebook page, calling or texting (304) 800-7737 or the website at thepeachboutique.us/
She said in most cases the store will take 40% off each sale and the consigner will take the remaining 60%, but these rates are negotiable, and every consigner contract is different.
“You can pick your price, you can pick what you want, and I can have a cap for more expensive items,” she said.
None of the items will be priced more than 70% of its retail value. With these prices and Shara’s pageant community, she’s confident her business will help people in Jackson County.
“I know a lot of people that buy dresses,” Shamblin said. “We have the power to get a lot of people in here.”
Dresses will be on the rack at The Peach Boutique for 60 days, and if they don’t sell by the end of that window, they will be marked down for another 60 days. If the dress still hasn’t sold after 120 days the consigner has a few options.
If dresses don’t sell, Shara will encourage consignors to donate them to a church like Aldersgate United Methodist that provides free prom dresses to high schoolers in Jackson County or they can pick the items up.
Shamblin’s hope is to provide an atmosphere where people can find the perfect dress for their special occasions that make them feel confident.
— Katelyn Waltemyer (she/her) is the General Assignment and Enterprise Reporter for Jackson Newspapers in Jackson County, West Virginia. Have a news tip on local government or education? Or a good feature? You can reach Katelyn at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @Kate_Waltemyer.