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VOL. 124 | NO. 155 | Monday, August 10, 2009

New Midtown Boutique Offers Total Fashion Package To All Women

By Tom Wilemon

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FUN WITH STYLE: Arshula and Jerry Lynn own the Main Event Boutique, which offers women’s wear and accessories. The business just opened in the Gilmore Building at the southeast corner of Madison Avenue and McLean Street. -- PHOTOS BY TOM WILEMON

Arshula Lynn recently put up the open sign at her new business, Main Event Boutique, and then put music from the Black Eyed Peas on the stereo.

The upbeat music streaming onto the sidewalk from 1859 Madison Ave. matched her attitude. She’s ready to help cure people of the economic doldrums.

“Women can come in here and get a quality outfit at an affordable price and it can change their attitude and make them feel better,” Lynn said. “It can give them confidence.”

From head to toe

Lynn previously just focused on doing hair at her nearby salon, but now her aim is to help women achieve total flair. The owner of Main Event Hair Salon on Marshall Avenue, she decided to branch out into clothing and accessories using the same trade name. She tested the market first by hosting parties at the salon.

PURSES TOO: Arshula Lynn decided to open a clothing boutique after first hosting “purse parties” at her hair salon.

“I used to do purse shows,” she said. “I then started doing accessories and stuff with jewelry. I started to get a feel for what ladies like so I ended up opening up a boutique.”

She convinced her husband, artist Jerry Lynn, to join in on the fun. Lynn paints collaboratively with his brother, Terry Lynn, under the “Twin” sobriquet. Jerry Lynn created an image for the back wall of what he described as a “non-racial, universal type of woman” to symbolize female glamour.

The couple opened the doors Wednesday then celebrated a grand opening Saturday.

The business is next to Fino’s Italian Grocery in the Gilmore Building, which Arshula Lynn said has a ready-made market for the boutique with 200 occupied apartments. The location has other advantages.

Main Event Boutique
Owners: Jerry and Arshula Lynn
Location: 1859 Madison Ave.
Employees: Three
Hours: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Mondays through Saturdays

“I’m surrounded by at least five salons,” she said. “There’s two on my right side, one in the building and two across the street with a nail salon. I just felt this boutique was something that this area needed. While the ladies are waiting for salon appointments, they can come through and shop.”

Fashion for all

Prices at the Main Event range from $10 to $80. Some of the brands include Double Zero, 5th Culture and Pixie Dust.

“There’s nothing over $100 in here,” Lynn said. “I’m aiming to provide fashions for all sizes, all styles, for every occasion. We have stylish and chic clothing from casual to over-the-top.”

The clothing comes in all sizes.

Family members and friends enjoy shopping together so it makes sense to offer variety, Lynn said.

“With the handbags, I did not have a size for small people or a size for plus sizes,” she said. “I didn’t want to open up a boutique and put limits to it. That’s why I decided to have small sizes all the way to plus sizes.

“I look for something different than the average person would have or something you wouldn’t find in the mall for everyday wear. I look for something of quality and style. I like color, but I like something that’s classy also.”

Lynn said she won’t neglect the salon with the opening of the new store. Her sister, Grace Owens, will oversee the boutique. Owens is named after one of their grandmothers, Gracie Turner, who got the sisters interested in fashion by creating one-of-a-kind clothing for them.

Lynn said she has wanted to have her own boutique since she was a teenager. She said she’s the type of individual who would rather work for herself and opted to open her own salon six months after graduating from cosmetology school. Jerry Lynn said he has caught the “business buzz” from his wife.

However, he said he lets his wife run the business and joked that his role depends on whether he has a hammer or a paintbrush in his hand.

“When you talk about the economy, what’s better than doing something for yourself?” he asked.

His wife chimed in to finish his comment.

“I believe that if we can survive during this time, during the toughest time, when the economy does bounce back, we can do even better,” she said. “I feel good about it.”

PROPERTY SALES 51 180 16,377
MORTGAGES 21 57 10,144
BUILDING PERMITS 103 665 39,209
BANKRUPTCIES 31 107 7,704