One mom has made her teenage daughter's dream come true with their own boutique on Reynolds Road in Bryant.
Joanna A. Boutique, located at 601 N. Reynolds Rd., is run by the mother-daughter duo of Mollie and Ashlyn Gaines.
Ashlyn is a Bryant High School student who had always dreamed of having a boutique. She will be turning 16 soon. Joanna is her middle name so she flipped it to first and used her first initial coming up with the name Joanna A. Boutique. Mollie said Ashlyn had been doodling that name on everything for years before they started their business.
In 2014, Ashlyn began suffering with what Mollie described as a polio-like illness.
A year after the illness, Mollie asked Ashlyn if she could do anything what would it be. Her immediate answer was "open a boutique."
"We have been working on that ever since," she said.
Mollie said she prayed over the decision to start the boutique.
While the store has been open since Dec. 18, 2018, the pair have been selling clothing through Painted Tree Marketplace since 2015. They opened booth space shortly after the Bryant Painted Tree opened, which has now moved to Little Rock. They were looking to start small and learn how to run a business.
At first, the pair painted furniture to sell until Painted Tree announced it would do boutique clothing so they switched over.
"We saw our opportunity to dive in and we have been growing ever since," Mollie said. "We are very thankful for the Painted Tree."
Mollie and Ashlyn have booths in all of Painted Tree's locations and plan to have them in future Painted Tree locations.
When the pair began selling clothing they focused on women's tops ranging from $28 to $38. Mollie said they have expanded to all women's items of varying prices, though $28 to $38 items are still their core offerings.
Joanna A.'s newest endeavor is an online store at www.joanna-a.com. Mollie said after the busy season ends, the online store will be their focus.
According to Mollie, she and Ashlyn have very different styles and they use both of their tastes to decide what to get for the store.
"I feel like it is unique because we play off of each other," Mollie said.
She describes the clothing as comfortable, cute and easy. She said the items are the sort of thing a person could wear to work or hanging out on the weekend. Their customers range from ages 14 to 75.
"We are totally about comfort," Mollie said.
Joanna A. also carries shoes, jewelry and accessories to go with the various looks. Plus sizes are available as well.
The shop recently began selling candles. Mollie said the two favorites are farmer's market and Kentucky bourbon.
The store on Reynolds Road is 2,300 square feet, including the stock room. Mollie said it has become the distribution hub for the other locations.
The Gaines family has lived in Bryant for 13 years, since Ashlyn was 3. Mollie has been married to Ashlyn's father, Ken Gaines Jr., for 25 years. Along with Ashlyn, they also have Braeden, 20, and Zachary, 22. Mollie said Braeden helped build the point-of-sale system when the store opened.
One of the fun things Mollie and Ashlyn get to do together is go to market to pick out the items for the store. Ashlyn does not get to go on all the trips, but Mollie said they have fun together when she gets to go.
Mollie has loved getting to interact with their customers in Bryant. She said 99.9 percent of the feedback they have recevied has been positive.
Because of the pair's unique styles, Mollie said Joanna A. offers items that people tell her they cannot find in other stores.
Being a small, independent business, they can also customize what they bring in based on what customers tell them they want. Mollie said the shop depends on customers so they want to please them.
"Joanna A. Boutique has forever changed my life and I am forever grateful for it," Ashlyn said.
Joanna A. Boutique is open 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.