Business notebook: Jackson boutique has regional roots in retail

Monday, July 17, 2017
Alicia Baugh, left, and Heather Thompson are owners of Vanice's Boutique in Jackson.
Fred Lynch

Alicia Baugh and Heather Thompson said it runs in the family.

Dotting the walls of their new boutique in uptown Jackson are photos of the cousins' female forebears, including one grandmother for whom their shop is named. A black-and-white portrait from the 1940s shows her and the sign from her eponymous Cape Girardeau store, "Veniece Beauty Shoppee."

Thompson said she and Baugh are proud to follow in similar footsteps.

"We're carrying on the tradition," she said. "This is like the 2017 version of [that original shop], I think."

In that same "beauty shoppee" vein, the new store, Vanice's Boutique, carries dresses, shoes, jewelry, tops and all manner of things for looking pretty.

And in 2017, Thompson said, the demand for such items is as strong as ever. Their June 3 opening at 127 S. High St. came less than a year after their first online rollout.

"The success of our online business gave us some courage to get further in," Thompson said.

"It is growing faster than we thought it would," Baugh said.

After the web-only business, they had their first brick-and-mortar shop in Gordonville, but they said the new location is what they needed and where they plan to stay.

"This used to be the old Rainbow Grill," Baugh said. "I know my mom used to come in here for lunch in high school."

"And now they're tearing down the high school," Thompson said. "We had someone bring us a brick from the old building."

Following the recent openings of the Groundabout and Barrel 131, Baugh said it's nice to be part of the recent swell in uptown.

"We feel like this is where we fit in," Thompson added. "I think our boutique is charming, just like uptown Jackson."

Being Jackson natives, they said they already know many of their customers on a first-name basis.

"We wanted to incorporate the family industry," Baugh said. "But we want people to feel at home."

Renaissance closes

Home decor shop Renaissance announced its closing July 8 after more than 15 years on the corner of Main Street and Broadway downtown. The previous owners sold the business to Jenna Beussink, a former employee, in spring 2016, and now another downtown business, Ophelia, will be taking over the space, according to a post on social media by Renaissance.

"Ophelia will be expanding their offerings to include home decor and accessories, including product lines familiar to Renaissance shoppers," the post said. "We wish to express our deepest gratitude to everyone who has visited our store over the years, and encourage you to continue supporting Sherry, Ophelia, and all of the wonderful Old Town Cape merchants."

Business licenses

* Jamey Lee Beard applied for a license to operate The Break Billiards Bar and Grill at 2106 William St. The business lists a jukebox, liquor by the drink, pool tables and a full-service kitchen. It was listed as opening in July.

* Marsha Morgan applied for a license to operate a home bakery business, Things N Cake LLC. It opened June 29.

* Melanie Wissone applied for a license to operate Athlete's Plus Cheerleading Training Center at 1940 Golden Eagle Court. The tumbling and competitive-cheer center will be the third such location operated by Wissone, who also has centers in Jackson and Cape Girardeau County. It is scheduled to open Sept. 30.

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