CENTRAL CITY — Two Central City women hope to foster positive changes with a new business they have started in their community.
Jamie Wright and Shauna Graham have opened All The Things Boutique at 1613 16th St. in Central City. Their store is a children’s boutique; along with children’s clothing, the store also carries a wide selection of toys and accessories.
“We’re selling quite a few different things here,” said Graham. “For lack of a better name, we came up with All The Things.”
For Wright, the clothing end of the store is an extension of her successful home online business, which is a franchise of the popular California-based DotDotSmile.
DotDotSmile was founded in 2017, and was designed “to empower motivated people to start their own, independent businesses.”
Wright is one of the company’s top retailers in the country. The company specializes in children’s clothing.
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But her success in selling children’s clothing caused her business to outgrow her home.
“It essentially took over my house,” Wright said. “People have been saying for a while that I need to open a store.”
She was resistant about starting an actual “brick and mortar” at first.
“I’m like, ‘No, I don’t want to do that,’” Wright said. “Then Shauna was like, ‘Hey, we should open a store.’”
After a bit of persuasion, Wright decided to join forces with Graham and open All The Things Boutique.
The store opened over the weekend.
The two had been friends for many years. Between them, they have seven children.
In 2020, Graham started a company called You Are Worth It. The business sells gift boxes during the Christmas and Easter season. She and her husband started it not only as a family activity, but also a learning tool for her daughter, Bailey, who has Down syndrome.
Bailey decides what goes into the gift boxes, which are named “Bailey’s Boxes.” The gift boxes are targeted at kids 2-12. The business has quickly caught on with families, and they ship “Bailey Boxes” across the country.
In a story published last year in the Grand Island Independent, it said that project began after Bailey, a fifth-grader, filled out a questionnaire in her language arts class.
In the questionnaire, Bailey wrote that she wanted to operate a toy store and that she was an “expert on toys, candy and ice cream.”
Graham said it was Bailey’s “dream job.”
With the help of her parents, Bailey’s “dream job” became a reality and the family were all pitching in and sending Bailey’s Boxes across the country. They are preparing to start next week selling the Bailey Boxes for the upcoming Easter season week.
So far, they have shipped more than 1,500 Bailey’s Boxes nationwide.
With Graham selling children’s toys and goodies, Bailey picking out items for her boxes, and Wright’s successful online children’s clothing business, it seemed like a good fit to join forces and start their own store.
“It just seemed like a good fit to bring the two businesses together and expand on it,” Wright said.
Bailey will also be working at the store, along with preparing her Bailey Boxes for the Easter season.
“Part of my wish and hope behind creating the store here is I really want to find meaningful employment for her when she’s older and I want her to find her purpose in life,” Graham said.
Bailey is 12 years old and is in the sixth grade.
“I know we have a ways before she’s graduated and out in the world, but I really want her to have a business that she can take pride in,” Graham said.
And for Graham, she wants Bailey’s example to serve as an example of what can be done to help children with special needs successfully meet the prospects and opportunities of an active adult life.
“We want her to be engaged with customers as they come in, ringing them up, putting their stuff in a bag and all of those things,” Graham said. “These are skills that I think will be very helpful for her as she gets older.”
Wright said it made sense bringing the two businesses together in one store.
“It was one our driving forces to do this,” she said.
Also, Wright said, All the Things Boutique brings another layer of diversity to Central City’s business community. She said the store is a one-stop-shop for all things kids, such as clothing, toys, gifts and goodies.
“You know, it just seems like it’s something that there’s not a lot of here and that it would be appealing and fill a hole in the community,” Wright said.
As a mother of five children, Graham said she knows the appeal of a “one-stop-shop” when it comes to outfitting her children and getting the necessary supplies and accessories they need. The store also offers screen printing.
“We can we can pretty much design and print anything,” Graham said.
From the beginning Graham’s goal was to create a place where people can shop locally. “But, also, I really want to create this business for Bailey when she’s older.”
For Wright, it was to expand on an already successful business that had created.
“I want to expand on my business in a way that more greatly benefits the community,” she said. “I feel like we’ve done a lot of work to make this a fun and welcoming place. We are super excited to have everybody come in here and even just stop and say ‘hi’ and introduce more people to the things that we’re offering.”
To learn more, visit Jamie Wright’s DotDotSmile Facebook page; www.grahampartyof7.com to learn about Bailey’s Boxes; and All The Things on Facebook.