The first thing you’ll notice about Tiffany Lockemy’s shop, Zallies Boutique, is that it’s the kind of store you want to be in for a while.  This time of year it’s warm and holiday scents fill the air. Her shop is named for her two daughters, Allie and Zoey.  She jokes that her store is like therapy and bows all in one.  A one stop shop for the busy mom on the go.  Her regular customers text her ahead of time letting Tiffany know they’re heading over.  They often come in without their children and chat about their day, kids or life at large; sometimes they silently shop for bows—either way Tiffany is game.  She feels like she’s become a part of her regular customers’ lives.  She’s seen many of their daughters grow from babies, to toddlers, to young girls.

Tiffany loves the community around her bows and outfits.  “Little people are fun.  Their excitement over something as simple as a bow I created is pretty special.”  She keeps toys in her shop so kids have something to play with while parents shop.  “The whole store is hands on for kids, but sometimes parents worry about kids pulling down a row of bows or something, so I brought some toys in for them.”

At any given time there are approximately 3,000 bows in Zallies.  They line the walls and are tucked neatly away in draws waiting for the right season.  Every bow is handmade by Tiffany.  In a weekend she could make 250 bows.  “It’s muscle memory and I have a system.”  Tiffany does special orders and can make anything from child’s bows, birthday outfits, tutus, headbands to blankets, banners and bottle cap necklaces.  It’s her can do attitude and spirit that propelled Zallies to where it is now.  “If someone asks me to do something I’ve never done before I can figure it out and get them what they are looking for.”

All the bows in Zallies shop are guaranteed.  Tiffany tests out new materials with her kid ambassadors to make sure what she is creating is quality. “Kids are hard on things.  If you spend money here I am going to make sure it lasts for you.  If a ribbon frays or something falls off, just bring it in and I’ll fix it.”

Tiffany started Zallies when her youngest was born.  She wanted cute hair accessories but nothing in the stores seemed to work on her daughter’s fine hair, so she taught herself how to make bows and bow headbands.  Then her eldest daughter wanted bows.  Next thing Tiffany knew friends and classmates of her oldest daughter were placing orders.  She took her bows on the road at local craft fairs and was a regular at Dundalk Renaissance’s Makers Market when she was presented with the opportunity to open a brick and mortar store rent free for three months in the Historic Dundalk Town Center as part of Dundalk Renaissance’s pop up shop program.  Prior to Zallies Boutique, 1a center place hosted Little Crystal Bijoux as a part of Dundalk Renaissance’s pop up shop program.

Zallies officially opened its doors October 8, 2016.  “Zoey started kindergarten and it just felt like the right time to open a shop.”  With the help of her family she was able to repaint, put down a new floor and set up her display racks that are strong enough to hold a toddler, should one try to climb up her display—although it’s not recommend.  When her oldest daughter is home on breaks from college, she helps her mom at the store or runs errands picking up specialty items that Tiffany needs for particular orders.  On December 21, Allie will lead the Zallies’ Unicorn Ornament Make and Take in the Forge (LINK).

Tiffany enjoys her work and working in the Historic Dundalk Town Center.  Her kids went to the same schools she went to and have grown up in the same house she did.  The close-knit community is one of the things Tiffany loves about working in the Historic Dundalk Town Center and living in Dundalk.  “You can toss a rock and hit someone you know.  You always know someone who knows someone else in Dundalk. It’s everything you need in a little area.”  Having her own business works well for Tiffany.  She and can be both mom and entrepreneur—it’s clear from the moment you walk into her shop how much she loves both of those roles. “Being my own boss does afford me the opportunity to be there whenever my girls need me.”

If you are interested in learning more about Dundalk Renaissance’s business incubation program contact Space is available for rent in the Forge.  Anyone interested in starting a business can sit down for a business 1-on-1 the second Friday of each month to discuss their business plan with a professional. Meetings are by appointment only.