Eighteen months ago Scott and Sherry Soost purchased 305 North Queen Street on the famed “300 Block” to open a Women’s Boutique. Becoming empty-nesters and facing the challenge of finding a new location for our boutique led us to the idea of consolidating our store and living quarters into one space. Frequent trips to Lancaster to visit family had us falling in love with the city. Lancaster had all we were looking for: culture, fine eateries, shows and walkability on top of being closer to family.
We knew it would be hard work as the building required extensive renovation and we would be doing all of the work, but we felt the end results would be worth it. Six months after beginning renovations we moved the store from Quakertown, PA, where it had been for 15 years, and opened our doors in Lancaster for the first time.
Our Boutique offers women everything from casual to semi-formal fashion, shoes and jewelry. We make every attempt to purchase American, Canadian and Fair Trade distinctive items. We are excited to be part of the current urban revitalization trend and plan to live on the upper floors of our building once the renovation is complete. Restoring a historic building in downtown Lancaster embraces our belief that urban life and community is vital to our country’s economic success.
We realized that it would be challenging to open a boutique in these days of relentless news of closing brick and mortar retail stores. Online shopping and Amazon.com have had devastating effects on boutiques and malls worldwide. In this election year we have heard much about bringing jobs back to America and to our cities. Boutique Tana Kaya and other shops in the city are doing just that. We hire locally, live here and put all of our money back into the community. Many studies have shown how dollars spent locally have a far greater impact on the local economy than dollars spent online or in big box retailers.
Online shopping sends your money out of town, out of state, out of country and into the pockets of the few instead of the many.
Boutique Tana Kaya also gives back to the community in other ways. Last year we worked along with Yaleet, Inc. (the sole distributer of Naot shoes in the U.S.) to donate $15,000 of NAOT shoes to Milagro House. This year we will start a new program of giving back to the community.
As we begin our second year of business we look forward to getting to know more of our local community. Realizing people are looking for more than just a shopping experience, they want to feel good about their purchases whether it be fair trade or contributing back to the local community, we are offering an opportunity to do just that. Once a month on the third or 4th Thursday we will have a Women’s night out. Here is a chance to hang out, talk, make friends, pass along ideas, discuss current events or dare I say, even politics. As part of the evening we will choose a recipient of the month for donations collected up to the next month meeting.
Do you know a teacher that needs classroom supplies, a mother needing small items, a local organization needing canned goods, etc.? The first Women’s night out will be June 23 – A Tea Party! Come try some new teas, hang out and relax. The following dates have been tentatively set aside for future Women’s nights out. July 21, August 18, September 22, October 20, November 17 and December 22.
We will be starting our 1st year celebration on June 17, Third Friday during the Sips and Bits Stroll. Come celebrate with us, we will have specials along with participating in the Sips and Bits Stroll.