A FAMILY TRADITION
Our story began over 60 years ago. My great-grandparents opened a Belk Department Store alongside Mr. Henry Belk. It was located in a small town nestled in the Great Smoky Mountains of North Carolina. This began what would now be one of 6 generations with a love for fashion and customer service.
My great-grandparents would eventually retire from Belk Department Stores, but not before both of my grandparents would follow in their footsteps. They too became a staple in the same small town department store. My Papaw was the store manager and Mamaw was a store associate. They both loved their job and the rewards that it would bring to their customers as well as their family. Although, I am a Georgia native, my sister & I would spend the summers with my grandparents in the mountains. Some of our fondest memories with them was hanging out at Belk, sliding down the handrails that would lead from the first floor down to the second. (Back then, a lot of department stores were two stories) We loved playing downstairs where we would help Mamaw make bows to gift wrap customers purchases. I’ve never seen a gift wrapped as beautifully as she would. She was a perfectionist and it showed in everything she did. They were married for 65 years, most of which they spent working side by side at the store. People came from near and far to shop with them because of their level of customer service, integrity, their love for fashion and making others feel great when leaving their store.
My mother and aunt would eventually enter into the fashion industry, managing a large department store for many years and eventually retiring from the business. They learned from the best since they were basically raised in Belk.
Fast forward to 2011 and the 4th generation of fashion lovers. I’ve always had a passion for fashion. After all, I was born into it. That year was both exciting but also heartbreaking. Mamaw was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. She was the rock of our family. She was strong, smart and always dressed to the nines. As this new journey started and she began treatment, the inevitable happened. She began losing her hair and became very self-conscious. I would visit her weekly and the first thing that I would say as I walked through the doors was, “HELLO BEAUTIFUL!”. She would always smile & it made her happy. We would talk about opening the boutique, she was so thrilled. She gave me the greatest advice, to stay focused on the highest level of customer service, respecting and appreciating each person that chooses to make you a part of their day the moment they walk into your store and SO much more. Unfortunately, we lost Mamaw a few months later…
During this time, I decided to honor my amazing and beautiful Mamaw in several ways throughout the store. I wanted her legacy to live on and I wanted to make her proud. I will never be able to fill her shoes but hope that I can walk in them.
Today, when you walk through our doors, the first thing you see is our HELLO BEAUTIFUL wall. We hope that it makes you smile as it did her. Our wing and crown logo was specially designed to represent her. The crown represents the Queen that she was to us. The wings represent the Angel that she is now. Our logo color, teal, honors all of the women who are or have fought ovarian cancer.
Business has been nothing short of a true blessing from day one. In 2017, my daughter Krystle left the medical field to partner with me creating the 5th generation fashionista. On October 30, 2018 our 6th generation fashion lover was born. Victoria Lea (named after her Mamaw & Vivi) has been a staple in our store since. She comes to “work” every day and loves all of the attention. Victoria is the inspiration behind our newest girls clothing line that we launched early 2019. Her sense of style was so loved by everyone that we decided to share her closet with them. Our girls line is incredibly trendy, unique and very affordable with sizes ranging from infant to 14. So if you are searching for the perfect bell bottoms, cold shoulder tops, off shoulder dresses and more for your mini fashionista, be sure to shop our Girls line today!
Our ultimate goal is to provide you with the highest level of customer service while bringing you the latest styles of trendy and newest fashions at affordable prices. With daily new arrivals, we are constantly researching the top fashions to bring directly to you in all sizes to 3X. We always have something for everyone, all ages and all sizes!
We love our store and thank God for every day that we are able to come to “work” each day at such a beautiful place with so much meaning. We truly have the best customer friends across the country and love seeing each one of you walk through our door. We take great pride in shipping that fun package to you and hope you feel special when opening it and beautiful when wearing it. As you can see, we are much more than an online store or brick and mortar business. We have roots, passion, and generations to live up to. We are family and you are a part of that. We can’t thank you enough for shopping small and supporting small businesses. We hope that you feel welcomed, happy and appreciated each time you walk into our store or receive that special package in the mail.
Thankful for you,Veronica Padgett
The Rustic Rack Boutique