As the owner of The Velvet Angel in downtown Waxahachie for the past 14 years, Amber Caverly has experienced the ups and downs of an independently owned retail businesswoman.
With her leadership as the president of the Waxahachie Downtown Merchants Association, Caverly has also established a unique sales opportunity for vendors around North Texas with LAST CALL, The Ultimate Boutique Sale.
“Through the experiences of retail and roadshows, I’ve learned successes and trials,” Caverly relayed. “One of the most challenging aspects of boutique ownership is inventory control. The Last Call event was created to assist boutique owners, like me, to liquidate seasonal inventory in order to make room for the new arrivals.”
With the fall and winter styles arriving in August and September, an outlet to get rid of the older inventory was seemingly nonexistent. Vendors will now have a chance to sell their merchandise quickly with the ultimate boutique sale.
“When it comes to a season-end, there is no place to get rid of your stuff. You don’t want sales racks sitting in your store until that season rolls back around. That merchandise has to go,” Caverly explained.
The Last Call vendors were handpicked from areas around North Texas. There will be 15 to 20 boutiques this year and each vendor is required to discount every item at least 20 percent off.
Many of The Velvet Angel’s merchandise will be 40 — 80 percent off. The boutique items will range from clothing to jewelry to accessories and more. Some favorite brands that will be sold this weekend from The Velvet Angel are Minnetonka, Reef, Aryeh, JODIFL and Umgee.
“It’s the first year, and the first of its kind in the North Texas area,” Caverly emphasized.
The majority of the vendors heard about the event through word of mouth, while the rest were neighbors with The Velvet Angel downtown. Local vendors will include Turquoise Haven, Three Bears Headquarters, the online boutique Turquoise and Tangerine, as well as Copper Rose based out of Forreston.
Courtney East, the owner of Turquoise and Tangerine, has operated her business for the past five years. East relayed how she only travels to local shows to sell her merchandise, so this opportunity is ideal.
“This is a way for me to connect with my customers in person,” East explained. “I like doing popup events locally because I have such a large local customer base. They get to touch and feel the merchandise and try on the products that they wouldn’t get to do otherwise.”
Some of her favorite brands that East will have for sale at LAST CALL are handmade products by Makeup Junkie, based out of Houston, a lot of custom work with local spirit wear and custom, Waxahachie mugs, along with vintage distressed hats.
“I think those make me unique,” East stressed. “I like to carry handmade items that are made in Texas. I also have handmade jewelry items. I like to support women-owned businesses, and Texas owned businesses.”
East also plays a significant role as a volunteer with the Junior Service League and is excited that Caverly spearheaded this end of the season sale. East expressed how this event gives small business owners like herself another avenue for a different sales season in Waxahachie.
“I like to do well-publicized events that get good traffic that makes it worth my while so it’s hard to find those in the area so this is going to add to the season and help put Waxahachie on the map for unique shows like this,” East elaborated.
With her business located just one block south of the historic Ellis County Courthouse, remaining involved with all things downtown is easy for Caverly.
“I truly believe my mission is to promote Waxahachie as a destination,” Caverly elaborated. “My store and staff are committed to giving customers an experience when they visit. We have so much to offer locals and visitors alike.”
There are about three to six events every month downtown such as Ladies Night Out and summer movies, and Caverly also highlighted the successful first-ever Craft Beer and Music Festival in June.
Caverly mentioned maps of downtown would be handed out to persuade attendees to venture out for lunch and additional shopping. “We’re all small businesses helping each other to succeed,” she advocated.
Caverly’s business adventures include renting a booth at the Expo for Ellis Country Trades Days, Canton Trade Days for 12 years, and retail locations in Waxahachie, Fort Worth, Rockwall, and Royce City. Traveling to do roadshows from Dallas to Houston to Mississippi — some years doing as many as 28 shows on the road.
“I really think next year I will be able to rent out the whole civic center and bring in more vendors,” Caverly foreshadowed. This year she expects to bring in anywhere from 500 to 1,000 attendees.
Log onto Eventbrite.com and search the Last Call for ticket sales. Tickets purchased online will be discounted and can also be purchased for full price at the door. General admission is $10 and $25 for the VIP pass, which includes a first look at the merchandise and mimosas.
LAST CALL, The Ultimate Boutique Sale will take place on Aug. 3 for VIP members from 10 a.m.—12 p.m. and from 12 — 6 p.m. for general admission, and on Aug. 4 from 10 a.m. — 4 p.m. at the Waxahachie Civic Center, located at 2000 Civic Center Lane.
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Ashley Ford | @aford_news | 469-517-1450