Boutique, hat store open in Ashland

ASHLAND Two young women have partnered to bring apparel and accessories to a new boutique location in downtown Ashland.

Inside the building at 1321 Winchester Ave. is Abby Mae’s Boutique, a clothing shop focusing on women’s clothing where a variety of shirts, jewelry and accessories filled the store. In the back of the building is Appalachian Soul Hat offering a plethora of handmade hats and custom designs.

Sarah Christian, owner of Abby Mae’s, said she began her clothing shop in Georgetown and, after having a son, a decision was made to “come back home.”

“We just wanted a fun, cheery place to have women come in, feel loved on and feel supported. We want to be a good community advocate for that,” she said.

“I was sad leaving Georgetown; I left a lot of good friendships up there. A lot of people started out as strangers and ended as friends and that’s what I am hoping for in Ashland,” Christian added.

The name Abbe Mae originated from the first rescue dog Christian received.

“I wanted something to be a tribute to that,” she said.

Opening up a business and creating an atmosphere of empowering women has always been in the back of Christian’s mind.

“You don’t owe us anything when you walk in here,” she said. “If it’s just a hey, how are you, to come say hi for the day, we are totally fine with that. We want everyone to feel comfortable and welcome when they come here.”

Christy Harris, of Boyd County, is the owner of Appalachian Hat Soul. She has been designing hats for several years, she said. The partnership between her and Christian came to fruition with the help of social media.

Harris took to Facebook looking for a collaboration. The rest was history, she said.

“I had never met Sarah before. ... One of my art friends had tagged Sarah in the post and we began collaborating there. She came and showed me the space and it just happened from there,” Harris said.

“It’s grown out of my house and it was time to step outside the house,” she added.

The hat store offers a combination of hats ranging in different shapes and colors. Harris said there is a hat bar inside the shop where individuals can create their own hat and, by request, customers can ask for their own custom-made hat.

“I am a hat person, I’ve worn hats forever,” Harris said. “I just painted one for myself and whenever I did, people started saying ‘oh, can you paint me one?’ And, from there, I started painting hats for people.

“I am an artist, I love creating,” she added. “Whenever I can paint on a hat or burn on a hat, it’s just another piece of artwork that people can wear around all the time and keep with them. They can get any type of hat here.”