“I am in the Air Force Reserve and was supposed to be leaving on deployment in Southeast Asia in March. I was active duty for four years in have been in the reserves for five. I was looking forward to this deployment and quit my job and put everything in storage. They called it off a week before I was supposed go on orders. I started applying for a new job and nothing was happening. I drove past this building on Joachim Street in April and saw the sign. A week later, I signed the lease and opened Evelyn Bay Boutique a month ago. Life changes fast.
I went to Murphy High School and decided to go in the Air Force the summer before my senior year. No one in my family had ever served. I wanted to be a part of something that made an impact on the world. Every day during my senior year I went back and forth between going and not going. I went and it changed my life. I had no idea how strong I was. You can do anything for 10 seconds. Then you go to the next 10 seconds and the next 10 seconds and it becomes a day, a month, a year. On the cap at the end of my bed, someone wrote in maker ‘Take everything a moment at a time.’ I held on to that. You can’t look at it as eight more weeks of basic training, you survive the minutes.
Making a difference is my goal. My parents once had pizza restaurants at the Holiday Inn and where Buck’s Pizza is today. Downtown Mobile is growing so much and I wanted to be a part of it. Having a boutique had always been in the back of my had. Clothes are an empowerment tool for women. It means a lot when you can put something on and feel like you can take on the world. I try to stay as reasonable as possible with prices.
Evelyn was my great-grandmother. This boutique encompasses the strength of the women in my family. Opening my own store was such a risk. What if no one likes my style or clothes? I have been surprised by how supportive and positive people have been to me. I want to have some kind of club with women to get them together once a month. Eventually, I want to give women clothing who need it and help them dress for an interview or important events in their lives. I want this store to help make Mobile a little better.”