By Stan Polanski Effingham Daily News, Ill.
The future of a business that three Louisville women ran in a basement during the night seemed to present itself on a fateful day in December 2013.
What had been strictly an online clothing business showed potential for more when owners Pam Garrett, Stephanie Harrison, and Elizabeth Patridge held an open house in Flora.
"It was a stinking madhouse unlike anything we've ever seen," recalls Garrett. "It was crazy."
Customers begged the three to open a shop.
"They said, 'Please, there's nothing else in the area," Garrett remembered.
Garrett and her daughters, Patridge and Harrison, did not disappoint. They soon moved into a Louisville house and opened Glamour Farms Boutique.
Though they were out of the basement, the opening of their new boutique brought humble beginnings.
"This house flooded and had holes in the floor," Garrett said.
"It was a mess," Harrison added.
But it wouldn't take long until the roof no longer needed a tarp and the store began to look like a mecca for southern fashion.
The owners say business has been booming. On a recent afternoon in the store, customers shopped inside while a photo shoot was underway outside. And in another building, employees handled business matters.
The owners attribute multiple reasons for their boutique's popularity. First off, they offer a style that seems to be different from other women's clothing stores.
Secondly, they make customers feel comfortable with their body and the clothes they wear.
"Every person has a different body type," Harrison said. "We just go in and try to make people feel better."
The trust customers invest in the boutiques's employees shows up when they begin wearing what they never would have before.
"If we had a nickel for every lady that said, 'I'll never wear leggings,'" Garrett jokes.
And finally, the owners claim that customers come because of the personalities and the fun atmosphere.
"The customers love seeing us on the floor because there's never a dull moment with us," Harrison said. "People constantly tell us we should be a reality tv show."
The business has come a long way since starting in Garrett's basement less than two years ago.
"It's become more than the three of us ever dreamed it would be," Garrett said.