Scarlet, the boutique open since October in the Village at Pleasant Valley, didn’t even get in the phone book before it climbed to the top of the women’s clothing retail scene in Little Rock, and Arkansas Times readers named it best hip clothing store the first year they had a chance to vote for it.
Chalk all that up to owner Jeanne McNeill, the 25-year-old Batesville native who said she sees the store as an extension of her own wardrobe.
“I buy what I like,” said McNeill, who studied fashion merchandising at the University of Arkansas. “In college I always dressed my friends out of my closet. …That’s what I tend to do with the store — I make it my big closet.”
McNeill credits her success to selling clothes customers used to have to go out of state to find. Scarlet carries labels you aren’t likely to find elsewhere in Little Rock, and stocks few enough of each item that you probably won’t run into someone else wearing the same outfit at the same party.
They’re not clothes likely to appeal to the khakis-and-T-shirt crowd, but if you’re looking to break out of the mold, don’t worry if you don’t have your own fashion sense to bring with you. McNeill will be more than happy to share her own.
— Jennifer Barnett Reed
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