J. Kennedy Clothing Company Joins Traditional Style With An Adventurous Edge In New Downtown Women’s Boutique

“For elegance, for resilience, for grace. Terribly simple—yet terrifically glamorous.
Uptown or downtime—bring wonderful manners and a flair for adventure. Horseback riding or sail boating today?”

Behind the brand of J. Kennedy Clothing Company is a passion for empowering the modern woman through timelessly classic style. A new women’s boutique coming to Downtown Huntsville in Spring 2018, J. Kennedy will supply a unique inventory of heirloom quality clothing and goods.

The new shop is the final tenant to join the thriving businesses at The Garage at Clinton Row—an adaptive reuse development that converted the bottom of a city parking deck into a strip of retail stores. The grand reveal of the shop took place last week at the Clinton Avenue Block Party and is already drawing the interest of Huntsville shoppers.

For Co-Owners of J. Kennedy, Meagan Tortorigi and Anusha Alapati, the project to open the store has been a year in the making. The shop plans to open its doors in March of next year, with online shopping available in February.

“Huntsville is a growing city with a need and appreciation for diversity in clothing,” said Meagan. “While we are a small, local boutique, we will provide exceptional customer service, style, experience, and assistance in outfitting. Now is the time to bring J. Kennedy to life.”

The Story.

“The look, the walk, the clothes, the grace.”

With years of retail experience under her belt as the owner and operator of Huntsville’s Cotton Cottage Boutique, Meagan reached out to Anusha with the proposition of opening a new women’s outfitter with a signature style.

“Managing Cotton Cottage was an incredible experience,” said Meagan, who will handle the day-to-day business of J. Kennedy. “After I moved to Birmingham, I left the retail business to focus on other pursuits. Now that I am back in Huntsville, it’s time to take on J. Kennedy with Anusha by my side. I couldn’t ask for a better business partner.”

As they formed plans for their new store, the image of one fiercely confident woman came to mind—Jacqueline Kennedy.

The Inspiration.

“It’s not just about what you wear, but how you wear it.”

Jacqueline Kennedy’s signature poise motivated Meagan and Anusha to create a new kind of women’s boutique for Huntsville. Everything from the design of the space to the available brands were carefully selected to reflect the refinement of the American fashion icon.

“Whether she was out on the field or at an upscale ball, Jackie Kennedy carried her strong sense of style with her,” said Anusha. “It’s something to be admired. Our new store will reflect the adventure and sophistication that she conveyed.”

Shoppers at J. Kennedy will be able to find a look for every occasion—styles for work, a night on the town, or casual day wear. And plenty of accessories will be available as well, including jewelry, shoes, and leather goods.

“We want every visit to be a memorable experience for our clientele,” said Meagan. “And that starts the moment they walk into the store.”

The Experience.

“A button up and jeans stop traffic. The door opens and she enters, breathless, but on time.”

Antique wingback chairs, Persian rugs, wooden accent walls, and exposed brick—these are just a few of the accents to expect at J. Kennedy.

“It will be as if you’re walking into a chic hunting lodge to enjoy a glass of champagne with Jackie herself,” said Meagan. “It’s outdoorsy but sophisticated. It will stand out in terms of design, and we think it will fit perfectly with the well-established shops at The Garage. We are also working with the Huntsville Historic Foundation and Reconstruction South to secure furniture and other decorative items.”

J. Kennedy plans to keep customers in mind when making decisions on what goods to carry in the 1,000 square foot space. Anusha said the company will reach out on social media in the coming months to hear what Huntsville has to say.

The Journey.

“For elegance, for resilience, for grace. Terribly simple, yet terrifically glamorous.”

Huntsville, what makes you feel glamorous? Confident? Classic? J. Kennedy wants to know.

“We want our customers to have a voice when it comes to what brands and fashion we offer,” explained Meagan. “Reach out to us via social media and let us know what you want us to carry. Every time we go to market we have our customers’ needs in mind. Speak up, because we are listening.”

Get to know J. Kennedy on Facebook and Instagram as they reveal more about the store in the coming months.

Visit https://www.jkennedyclothing.com for more.

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HALEY CLEMONS
MARKETING COORDINATOR
CRUNKLETON COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE GROUP
HALEY@CRUNKLETONASSOCIATES.COM

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Elitaire Boutique Nominated For 2017 Emerging Small Business Of The Year

On August 15th, the Huntsville-Madison County Chamber will honor the success of small businesses and individuals that have made an impact on the community with an Awards Celebration. One of the contenders, Elitaire Boutique, was nominated for Emerging Business of the Year.

The women’s boutique opened in October 2016 at The Garage at Clinton Row and has quickly grown into a Downtown Huntsville favorite. The shop’s success is evident as it reached another milestone—a nomination for one of the Chamber’s prestigious awards.

We recently sat down with Kayla Adams, owner of the elegant boutique, to discuss the nomination, coming events at the shop, and what she thinks makes for a winning business.

How does it feel to be nominated for this award?

We are very humbled, excited, nervous—all of these feelings! But ultimately, we are grateful and honored to be nominated alongside all the other fabulous small businesses. Being a finalist is already a win for us.

Tell me a bit about the 2017 Small Business Awards.

Like I said, just being nominated is a big deal to us. Every year, the Chamber honors businesses in several categories; we were nominated for Emerging Business of the Year.

The 32nd Annual Small Business Awards Celebration will happen at the Von Braun Center on August 15th. I am really looking forward to honoring the amazing businesses that have thrived in the Huntsville area. Everyone is a winner in my book.

What do you believe makes for a successful business?

First and foremost, I believe that you have to offer excellent customer service. Without our customers’ support, we wouldn’t have made it past the first day. Providing them with our absolute best is something we continually strive for.

Secondly, you need an amazing, unique product offering. All of our brands are new to the Huntsville area. We want customers to be able to find something exquisite and exclusive without sacrificing style or quality.

And last, but not least, I truly believe in community over competition. This is the mindset in which my husband and I have built Elitaire. It’s also the second reason why our brands are new to the area. As a small business owner, I don’t want to carry a brand that is already being represented in Huntsville by another small business.

I focus on providing something different and giving our customers more shopping options in our city. By doing this, we are also able to refer our customers out to other stellar, local boutiques in Huntsville. This encourages them to keep shopping local.

What do you think customers love about your shop?

I think our customers love our store because it offers women the chance to find their own sophisticated style and feel beautiful—but with unique, high-quality clothing you can’t find anywhere else in town.

We will always be a store that is classic and sophisticated, but we love adding an unexpected, eclectic edge that makes our customers feel avant-garde. We want our customers to leave with a certain “je ne sais quoi” they can’t find anywhere else.

Speaking of customers, do you have any events lined up for them in the near future?

Yes! We are having a free pop-up yoga event coming up on the last Saturday in July. It’s a great way to unwind in a beautiful space with friends. We offered the same event earlier this year and it was a huge success.

In the Fall, we will also have jewelry trunk shows. And stay tuned for a fashion show (or two)! We have a few other surprises up our sleeves that I can’t announce quite yet, but just know it will be an experience you won’t normally find in a retail store.

You said you have several unique brands available. Are there any you’d like to highlight?

I come from a nonprofit background, so it’s very important to me that we give back in any way we can—we do that through our “Purpose Brands” that we carry in the store and online.

The Shine Project

The first is called The Shine Project. This nonprofit helps America’s inner-city youth become first-generation college graduates. These students not only make the jewelry, bags, and screen-printed tees we carry, but they also help in the design and selling process. They even answer the phone when I call customer service! These kids are learning excellent communication skills and work ethic that will help with employment in the future.

FashionABLE

Another “Purpose Brand” we carry is called FashionABLE. Their motto is, “It is widely known that if we are to end extreme poverty two things must happen. One, we must create jobs for those lacking opportunity, and two, we must do so for women.”

This is the gap that FashionABLE has been helping—women who have been victims of extreme poverty, abuse, and human trafficking in Nashville, Ethiopia, and Peru. These women hand-make beautiful pieces of jewelry, leather goods, and clothing—and they are all original.

E.S.CO

E.S.CO is owned by Emma Steelman who is a local, self-taught silversmith and artist. She hand-makes each piece of jewelry out of silver or gold and also uses hand-selected real stones in her design. You will never find two pieces that are alike.

We feel it’s important to support local artists and businesses, and we are always looking to showcase that talent in our store.

What do you love about your job?

Honestly, I love everything about it. But I love my customers the most. The people I am able to meet through this career and the relationships that have grown from it are priceless to me.

We love to provide customers with the best shopping experience possible, so we will always be listening and adapting to what they want while providing our best customer service.

You will always be greeted with a smile when you walk into Elitaire Boutique.

Check out the FULL LIST of award contenders here.

 And stay tuned to Elitaire’s Facebook page for more updates from the shop. Or follow them on Instagram @elitaireboutique.

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HALEY CLEMONS
MARKETING COORDINATOR
CRUNKLETON COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE GROUP
HALEY@CRUNKLETONASSOCIATES.COM

Broker Spotlight: Anusha Alapati

How did you become interested in commercial real estate?

That’s an interesting story—I sort of fell into it. When I graduated college I was offered a job at my great uncle’s company, Yedla Management, that develops hotels across the Southeast. I became very interested in the development side of the business and he suggested that commercial real estate might be something that would fit me. He was right.

I wake up every day feeling blessed to be in my position. It’s challenging, fun, and very rewarding.

Anusha Alapati

What do you love most about your job as a commercial real estate broker?

Being able to help the City of Huntsville grow and thrive is something that never gets old. We are a big city with a small-town feel, and it’s amazing to watch new businesses be supported by the community with such enthusiasm.

Even the challenges are enjoyable—they can end up being the most fun. Creating retail synergy is a giant puzzle, and I have the privilege of thinking through those challenges and helping produce something out-of-the-box, memorable, and highly successful. And of course, the relationships I’ve built through my position have been a major highlight.

What makes Huntsville a wonderful destination for new businesses?

We are starting to see the urbanization of Huntsville as our city is embracing the live, work, play lifestyle. Like I said, the support that the community gives is unmatched. Huntsville is on the rise, and new concepts are welcomed here with open arms.

The city shares a passion for development and growth, and that’s reflected in the way we encourage new business ventures. I hope to bring more interesting retail concepts to the Rocket City.

You specialize in retail leasing—what does that mean?

Focusing on a particular area of commercial real estate is something that differentiates Crunkleton. We have brokers that specialize in certain types of leasing, allowing them to stay hyper-focused on a specific side of the business. My specialty is retail.

I understand the landscape of boutique, restaurant, and specialty retail leasing and what it takes to be successful in those areas. It’s something that has always clicked with me and it’s where my passion is.

What projects have you found especially rewarding?

That’s too difficult to answer; every project is unique. I do love the challenging projects, because they make you stay on top of your game and expand your skillset. You are never stagnant in this line of work. It requires you to keep growing.

That being said, it has been a privilege to be a part of the revitalization of Downtown Huntsville. Wesley Crunkleton did an amazing job of executing his vision for The Garage at Clinton Row, and I was given the opportunity to lease the development. Working with Charlie and Sasha Sealy on The Avenue was also an exciting undertaking because it was one of the first large-scale mixed-use developments in the downtown area.

But it’s not just about downtown, projects like Central Park Village, 2700 Capitol Park in Tuscaloosa, and the chance to work with retailers in expanding to other cities has been very fulfilling too.

Anusha worked on major Downtown Huntsville projects like The Garage at Clinton Row. Here she is in her favorite dress from Elitaire Boutique, a tenant at The Garage!

What piece of advice would you give to someone considering a career in commercial real estate?

It takes grit, persistence, leaving your comfort zone, and developing meaningful relationships to be successful.

Be ready to work hard. It involves constant research and putting yourself out there to make sure the job is done.

How do you stay on top of your game?

In this business, you have to stay ahead of the trends. What do people want? Where do people want to shop? What experience can you deliver to a retail consumer that leaves a lasting impression? I am always researching trends—Business Insider, Forbes, Shopping Centers Today, you name it. I also attend major conferences like ICSC and I travel to research new concepts.

It’s important to understand how millennials live, work, and find entertainment. Trends change rapidly and are vastly different today than 5 years ago, or even 2 years ago.

What value do you hope to bring to your clients?

I want to ensure a seamless process and be a resource for them. I want to be there to connect them to the people and assets they need for a prosperous business. Watching my clients grow and flourish is why I do what I do.

Enjoying a day of fly fishing in Blue Ridge, GA.

What do you enjoy doing outside of the office?

Staying active in the community is important to me, which is why I try to spend my free time volunteering with organizations like Mayfair Inner City Church and Junior League of Huntsville. I’m also a member of Committee 100 YP and a newly elected member of the Huntsville Museum of Art Foundation Board.

I also love fly fishing, spending time with my family, my boyfriend Matt, and my dog Charlie.

You can contact Anusha by email at anusha@crunkletonassociates.com or by calling 256-536-8809.

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HALEY CLEMONS
MARKETING COORDINATOR
CRUNKLETON COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE GROUP
HALEY@CRUNKLETONASSOCIATES.COM

Tenant Announcement! Scout & Molly’s Boutique Coming To The Avenue!

In recent years, Downtown Huntsville has transformed into a dynamic neighborhood offering endless options for dining, living, and entertainment. It’s impossible to ignore the evolution of the area as you walk, ride, or bike down its busy, colorful streets.

New shops are popping up every day. And with the addition of urban living communities, pocket parks, and art-filled alleyways, the downtown area has become the mecca for the “Live-Work-Play” lifestyle.

The opportunities for unique retail are abundant, and Scout & Molly’s will join the downtown community with its newest location at The Avenue. The boutique will be located next to Church Street Purveyor in a 1,272 SF space. In addition to bringing more soft goods retail to downtown, the women’s boutique will offer an inventory centered on the Huntsville customer.

Photo courtesy of Scout & Molly’s

 Projected Store Hours:

Monday – Saturday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Sunday 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.

“The revitalization of the downtown area is one of the best things to happen to the city in years,” said Lori Mullins, owner of Scout & Molly’s future Huntsville location. “The project has provided the city and surrounding areas with a centralized location for entertainment, art, and food while preserving our local history and culture.”

Scout & Molly’s began in Raleigh, NC, in 2002 and was the dream of entrepreneur and Founder, Lisa Kornstein. Scout & Molly’s is where today’s transcending woman goes to find that special little something that’ll fit just right. Scout & Molly’s boutiques are merchandised with a simple rule in mind: “No style fits all,” which is why maintaining individuality while dressed in the latest trends is a necessity for all of its customers. Scout & Molly’s locations are home to your favorite designers and unique finds that are sure to produce both confidence and compliments.

“As the owner of its downtown location, I will work with both the clients and the Scout & Molly’s buyers to provide clothing and accessories that match the unique style of Huntsville women,” said Lori.

Shoppers at the new boutique will never have to worry about stale styles. Lori said that new brands are continuously being sought by Scout & Molly’s, ensuring that updated inventory is always available. Among the brands carried by Scout & Molly’s include makers like Fifteen Twenty, Sanctuary, and AG Jeans. The boutique will also offer a free styling program, closet makeovers, and host private shopping events.

“We can’t wait to be an active member of the downtown retail community,” said Lori. “The Avenue developers are vested in Huntsville and the success of downtown; no other Huntsville retail and residential environment offers what The Avenue does.”

Photo courtesy of Scout & Molly’s

The Avenue – Urban Living (And Retail) At Its Best

Charlie and Sasha Sealy, developers of The Avenue, realized the brilliant opportunity to create a true “Live-Work-Play” mixed-use development that would bring Huntsville residents a convenient place to live while giving them options to wine, dine, shop, and play all within one facility. Now with the critical mass of people living in Downtown Huntsville, the Sealys are seeing more and more retailers interested in coming to The Avenue.

“We are very excited to welcome Scout & Molly’s to The Avenue,” said Sasha. “The stylish boutique is well-known in larger cities like Nashville, and this will be its first location in Alabama. The boutique features one-of-a-kind clothing, jewelry, and accessories, and will complement our development by adding to the downtown lifestyle.”

The Avenue is increasingly becoming a sought-after retail space for several reasons, including the important component of synergy among tenants. Crunkleton broker Anusha Alapati worked directly with Scout & Molly’s and The Avenue to create the ideal match.

“Retail synergy is important for any successful shopping district,” said Anusha. “Crunkleton has been working to craft a cohesive tenant mix at The Avenue, as well as other projects in downtown.” Anusha also worked closely with other key downtown developments like The Garage at Clinton Row.

“The addition of Scout & Molly’s will continue the city’s efforts of turning the downtown district into a stellar shopping and entertainment district,” she said. “It’s only going to grow from here.”

Welcome Scout & Molly’s Boutique!

For Lori, August can’t come soon enough. She’s ready to open her doors and showcase the personality and versatility that Scout & Molly’s will bring to downtown.

“I believe the women who live in Huntsville will appreciate the fact that they no longer have to drive to Birmingham, Nashville or Atlanta to find those special pieces of clothing,” said Lori. “They can find it in their own backyard—right here at The Avenue. We are very appreciative of this opportunity, and we look forward to increasing synergy, enhancing downtown, and creating lasting relationships with our customers. See you in August, Huntsville!”

Be sure to follow Scout & Molly’s Huntsville location on Instagram @scoutandmollyshuntsville!

For more information on Scout & Molly’s visit www.scoutandmollys.com. And follow the company on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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HALEY CLEMONS
MARKETING COORDINATOR
CRUNKLETON COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE GROUP
HALEY@CRUNKLETONASSOCIATES.COM