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Annmarie Beard Repurchases The Charming Cottage Children’s Boutique
Writer / Julie Yates
Annmarie’s The Charming Cottage Children’s Boutique, located in Tipton’s Side Street Mall, offers unique clothing and other items at reasonable prices. Owned by Annmarie Beard, the shop is a sister store to her two women’s boutiques, Annmarie’s A Boutique Experience and Annmarie’s Boutique Kokomo. Maintaining a store dedicated to children in addition to operating two other shops might seem demanding, but it’s a labor of love that Beard thrives on.
“When people buy clothing, they don’t want to look like everyone else,” Beard says. “A boutique shopping experience means there is usually just one item in each size. If you see a child with a cute outfit on, you know it came from a boutique because it is a little different. I feel like I am a really good buyer for the store because I don’t buy the first things I see. I shop around for good prices.”
Beard opened her children’s boutique four years ago, but after just one year of owning it, she found out she had breast cancer. Not knowing what the future would hold, she sold the shop to a friend who also worked there. In a full circle of events, Beard made a full recovery, and in May her friend wanted to sell the boutique.
It wasn’t a hard decision for Beard to rebuy it. Years ago, she had been a buyer for the gift shop at Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis. Her goal for initially opening the shop was to put something in the space that would have staying power and be good for Tipton. She is passionate about it and truly enjoys it.
“When I found out I had cancer, I was just floored and wasn’t sure I could do it all,” she says. “I feel I got off lucky since I caught it early. I had surgery, reconstructive surgery and radiation. I have been cancer free for almost three years now and my health is great. The friend who bought The Charming Cottage has new twin grandsons and wanted to stay home to help care for them. She asked if I wanted to buy it back.”
After taking the store back over, Beard did not have to make major changes since the decor inside was still the way she initially had it. She was excited to keep the Itzy Ritzy line her friend had acquired. However, she delighted in putting her own spin on things. She offers children’s T-shirts and onesies that she designs and prints herself. Most are $10 and have a rock-and-roll theme. Beard also bleaches flannel shirts, which are available in sizes six through 12.
“I have a lot of cute things in the shop with exceptional quality at reasonable prices,” Beard says. “Since the closest big-box store is 20 or 30 minutes away, I do carry some basic clothing. Grandmas and aunts are a huge audience. Also, people buying shower gifts can get a lot for their money. We have a few toys that are $2 or $3 for parents that want to buy something when they come in with their kids. We also carry baby jewelry, teethers, pacifiers, mobiles and toys for car seats.”
“It’s really not about making money at all,” she adds. “I put money back in the store. It’s all about enjoying it. I love processing the inventory and talking to customers. Everyone in Tipton is nice and very friendly. In a small town there is a need for unique places with unique things, at good prices.”
Annmarie’s The Charming Cottage Children’s Boutique is located at 125 West Jefferson Street in Tipton’s Side Street Mall. For more info, call 765-675-0013, and visit the shop on Facebook to see new arrivals and special promotions.