The Shoppes on Woodlawn in Little Rock’s historic Hillcrest neighborhood is a nice break from the sleek and modern boutiques prevalent on the shopping scene. The charming old house at the corner of Beechwood and Woodlawn houses the retail business. You enter the Shoppes from its welcoming porch and can just imagine a simpler time when it served as a respite for the home’s residents with iced tea and manual fans in hand.
Today, the house is filled with things – some old, a lot of new – that may meet your gifting needs for everyone on your list, from babies to retirees. About a dozen people rent retail space in the different rooms of the two-story house to sell their wares.
Shoppes owner Stacy Wilson greets customers from her desk at the base of the home’s staircase. Proprietor of The Little Chick boutique, “a chic boutique for your little peep”.
Wilson bought the business last fall from previous owners Jessica Davis and Lu Smith, who still own the building. As a shopkeeper for several years, Wilson was looking for a bigger space when Shoppes came on the market. “I’d already been here a few years and it made sense to stay here and move The Little Chick to a bigger room,” she said.
Former real estate agents, Davis and Smith saw a golden opportunity in the old home when they saw it was for sale more than a decade ago.
“We didn’t quite know what we were going to do with it when we bought it,” Davis said, “but we knew it was going to be something great.”
The pair started shopping and going to “market” and then began renting the rooms for retail space. It’s been a Hillcrest staple ever since. “Stacy is doing a fabulous job with the business, and we love seeing the Shoppes continue to thrive,” Davis continues.
Wilson, a former corporate aviation interior designer, started The Little Chick when her daughter was born.
“I loved my aviation business, but when (her daughter)Madelyn was born, I wanted to slow down and not travel as much,” she said. “I was already making stuff for other people and it was a natural progression to make it my business and get paid for it.”
She specializes in nursery design, baby bedding, bibs and toddler aprons, and her baby bowties have been featured in Southern Living.
Wilson had ambitions of working for a sports team after graduating from Clemson University with a management degree with an emphasis in sports. Those plans didn’t work out, and after living in Houston for a while, working for an airplane brokerage firm, she moved to Tucson, Ariz.
In Tucson she furthered her education at Southwest University for Visual Arts focusing on interior design. She worked in kitchen and bath design as well as residential design before finding her niche in corporate aviation design. Her husband, Ivan, inspired her aviation career because of his involvement with the industry.
Wilson says she sometimes misses the challenges of the aviation business, but she has seen success with the Shoppes and The Little Chick. The boutique was honored as Best Children’s Boutique on Little Rock’s A-list for the past two years.
Wilson initially was attracted to Shoppes because she was looking for a space beyond her home studio. “I needed a place to meet customers, but didn’t want to have to be there all the time. The beauty of Shoppes is that it’s a great place to display things for customers without having to physically be there, but you have the opportunity to set up meetings with customers,” Wilson tells us.
The Shoppes is the perfect spot for people looking for a nice gift for a loved one, or even something special for themselves, Wilson tells us. She aims to have something for everyone, from housewares and lavish soups to clothes and jewelry, to artwork and pet accessories.
“We have multi-functional gifts and unique items, and some are even handmade. And I love the opportunity it gives business owners who can’t afford to have a huge retail space. They are able to showcase their items without having a huge overhead,” she explains.
Community is important at the Shoppes as well. The business is a big part of Hillcrest’s First Thursday shop and sip events, and Wilson has further plans to enhance the business’ community involvement. The first “Mimosas & Muffins, Make & Take Class” is April 30. Guests are invited to grab a friend, enjoy a late Saturday morning together and make a fun craft – supplies included – to take home. Wilson said she looks forward to continue hosting similar events to give people a sense of community and more opportunities to enjoy this “enchanting” one-stop shop.
Shoppes on Woodlawn
4523 Woodlawn Dr., Little Rock
Tue-Thu:10:00 am – 5:30 pm
Sat: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm