South Boutique is a clothing store in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Since opening, it has become really successful. South strives to make women feel confident by carrying the latest trends.
By Chelsea Amend
TUSCALOOSA- South Boutique is a local clothing store dedicated to making women feel confident and unique. Since opening, owner Anna Spruiell now has five locations all over the southern region. South’s Tuscaloosa location opened exactly two years ago and has become a popular shopping store for the women at the University of Alabama. This local business has taken off because of a vision, ambition, and drive from its employees.
South Tuscaloosa opened in Midtown Village next to another prominent clothing boutique, Soca. For this fast growing company, it was not a worry whether it would be successful or not. Store manager, Sarah Bryan believes that hard work and dedication goes along ways in the fashion industry.
“There’s a lot of behind the scenes work that goes into running a successful clothing boutique,” she said. “We cherish our employees, strive for the best customer service, travel to apparel markets every season to keep up on fashion trends, flip the store weekly, and keep our boutique organized.”
Customer service is the most important aspect to South. Last week, a mother-to-be announced she was pregnant to her mother in the Tuscaloosa store. According to the the family, the mom of the pregnant daughter loves South Boutique so much and shops there weekly. The daughter was on a shopping spree with her mother when she came out of the dressing room, and announced her pregnancy.
“It’s stories like this that I can’t wait to tell people,” Bryan said. “Our store has become home for many. I strive to have relationships with my clients on a personal level. I reach out weekly to check in on some. I’m so thankful for South because it has given me the opportunity to meet so many people and touch their lives.”
Five years ago, owner Anna Spruiell opened her first location in Birmingham, Alabama. She worked seven days week, had no employees, and zero financial help. Now with five locations, Spruiell has a handful of employees all thankful for the opportunity to work for South.
“Working for South has sparked my passion for fashion. I even changed my major to fashion. As I continue to work here, I finally feel that I have found my calling in life. I want to continue in the fashion industry and will be forever grateful for this store,” said employee Shannon Springstead.
South’s new employee training program is quite extensive. New employees must go through many levels of training and conferences before they are able to work at the locations. According to customers, the amount of training hours the employees go through is evident.
“I find myself walking into South to just chat with the employees. They have become my friends outside of the store. This is the best customer service I have ever had when it comes to shopping. No one wants to spend hundreds of dollars over and over again. There’s just something about South that makes me forget about breaking my bank,” said customer Dee Dee Querolo.
The sense of pride when walking into South Boutique is unmatched. After only five years and five locations, South is continuing to grow and expand. Owner Anna Spruiell thinks of her employees as a blessing.
“If you asked me what my secret to success was, it’s my employees. My girls.”