Boutique adds to Ramseur business landscape

RAMSEUR — Hannah Harper’s vision for a thriving boutique began to come together even during the challenging days of the pandemic.

When she realized that expansion was feasible, she wanted that growth to happen in a place where she’s comfortable.

So downtown Ramseur became the destination for Stella Laine Boutique.

“We just grew so fast and we were looking for something much bigger,” Harper said. “I was trying to bring something like this here.”

A grand opening for the business is scheduled for 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday at the Weatherly Square store.

Harper, 24, began the business online in 2020. Last October, she opened a small store in Trinity.

“It was great just starting out,” she said. “It was kind of a test to see if it’s going to work. We outgrew that space. We wanted something with more foot traffic.”

Now, she has more than four times the amount of space.

For Ramseur, it’s an ideal addition to the business community.

“We have nothing like that in Ramseur,” said JC Parrish, a town commissioner and board member for the Ramseur/Eastern Randolph Area Chamber of Commerce. “It will be something we don’t have here. She has a big following (on social media) and people have really responded well.”

Stella Laine Boutique offers a varsities of items from shirts, purses, candles and other items. (PJ WARD-BROWN/NORTH STATE JOURNAL)

Parrish said recent additions to the downtown include Magnolias on Main 521, which specializes in antiques; Carolina Eclectic, which has antiques, souvenirs and gifts; and Two Brothers Mini Mart, a convenience store.

These businesses follow Vee’s Place Old-Fashioned Bakery.

“It started with the bakery,” Parrish said.

Ramseur mayor Vicki Caudle, owner of Blue Horseshoe Antiques and Collectibles, said attracting more people to shop in the community is vital.

“We do have a lot of energy flowing,” Caudle said. “Our Chamber has been fighting for years and years for people to realize Ramseur has potential. It has been a process.”

There have been other happenings on the local business scene. There’s new ownership of Main St. Hair Company, a downtown business. Elsewhere, Just Save Foods has been purchased by IGA, with that transition expected to take place next month.

Stella Laine Boutique is mostly focused on serving women ages 18-70. Harper said she’s interested in adding men’s hats and T-shirts as a trial.

Harper, a Faith Christian graduate, went to Randolph Community College for an associate’s degree in interior design. While a student, she worked at a small boutique in Asheboro and that gave her a taste of that environment.

She started out making handmade bracelets. Now, the offerings are much more large scale.

“It’s what I’ve always wanted to do,” Harper said.

Harper said she’s intrigued by the downtown set-up and the possibilities that exist.

“There’s nothing down here like this,” she said. “There’s not a lot of options down here.”

Caudle said she senses that there’s good cooperation among Ramseur businesses. She said the wider array of types of business can only help.

So she likes the idea of Stella Laine Boutique filling a certain niche.

“It’s another opportunity to encourage more people to come to Ramseur for more than 10 minutes,” Caudle said.

By Bob Sutton