Last November, Alyssa (Knepp) Wagler of Montgomery opened her first boutique in a mini-barn near her home in Montgomery.
She had taken a chunk of money saved for college and invested it into the 12-by-24 red barn and the stock of clothing to open Top Notch Boutique.
The 20-year-old had decided early on that college wasn’t for her so she attended cosmetology school after graduating from Barr-Reeve High School but soon realized that wasn’t a path she was interested in either.
She had worked in clothing sales during high school and loved fashion and shopping for clothing.
“I told my mom, I want to do this,” Alyssa said about the decision to open a boutique.
The barn was busy and eventually led to Alyssa being invited to share space in Washington with a hair salon in March of this year. It was a great move; while customers are waiting for hair appointments, they peruse and purchase clothes from Alyssa’s boutique.
With the success, Alyssa knew she wanted to set something up in Jasper. Her mother, Darla Eaton, is a nurse practitioner at Memorial Hospital and Alyssa felt like the market here would support a boutique like her’s that catered to people seeking fashionable pieces at affordable prices.
She explored a couple places before learning about the location in Southgate Shopping Center and about five weeks ago, they began painting and decorating the space at 347 U.S. 231.
When she opened last Saturday, Alyssa showed up at 9:45 a.m. to a line of shoppers waiting to come into the new store. “Yeah, I had my breakfast in my hand and here’s this line of people waiting to get in,” she explained. “I was not expecting this many people at all.”
The growth has been phenomenal for the young business owner. In addition to her store, she utilizes Facebook and Instagram to sell clothing online and ships it out daily.
Brands like Kancan Jeans and Umgee sweaters are accented by stylish shoes to match the trending fashions. The airy boutique features a faux fireplace with a chair for husbands and boyfriends to relax in while significant others try on clothing.
“I can’t imagine myself doing anything else,” Alyssa said about becoming a fashion entrepreneur.
She marvels at her quick success. “A lot of my friends are still in college and here I am with a business, I’m married and I have a baby on the way,” she explained adding that she and her husband Adam are expecting their first child in December.
Top Notch Boutique is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday.
“I’ve really enjoyed shopping for clothes every day and helping customers find something they love,” Alyssa said. “It’s like Christmas every day when I get to open up packages with new clothing.”