As Boliwalou owner Cris Thompson hoped, walking into her new Kings Contrivance boutique feels a bit like walking into a lively college dorm room.
“I love interacting with teenagers and young people. They’re clever people who are going through big changes and they have interesting views about the world,” says Thompson. “So for decorating, I was inspired by a college dorm room, I wanted a colorful place where women can feel comfortable and energized to explore their own style.”
This past weekend, women and girls browsed the racks of new and used clothing at Boliwalou’s grand opening party. Potential customers were lured into the store by a table of free treats with Brazilian chocolate truffles, a guava and cheese desert and more familiar offerings of miniature cupcakes and hot chocolate.
By midday, Thompson was pleased with how the day had progressed. “Some friends and I stayed up until 2 a.m. doing last minute rearrangements, so it’s been a long day but it’s fun. We've had moments where it gets pretty busy, and people are enjoying themselves so that's the most important."
As teenage girls and their mothers looked at potential homecoming dresses, Columbia resident Laura Loughery looked through shirts while her four-year-old daughter Taryn marveled at shirts that were a bit too old for her.
“I definitely like what I see, and I know that once [Taryn] fits a size 10 she will love it here,” said Loughery.
Outside the store, Thompson spoke with three teenagers who accidentally stumbled upon the store that afternoon.
When one girl said something about future plans, Thompson joked, “Oh a few years from now we will have expanded nationwide and have stores in all 50 states, of course. Well, that might be a bit much, but I know we’ll be here for a while so come back sometime!”