Story by Teewhy Dojutelegan
Video by Paola Troche
Senior Elementary Education major Kayla Meckes combined her love of fashion with her love to help others, and as a result, now owns Amelia’s Closet, a boutique that sells clothing to women.
Meckes said she often talked with her mother, Carolina Perez, about opening a clothing boutique, and through these conversations, both mother and daughter developed the concept for their store. When Meckes moved forward with her plans, Perez joined her daughter and decided to serve as the financial officer for the store.
“Amelia’s Closet has always been in the conversation between me and my mother,” she said. “We wanted something new, fresh, exciting and different for Lawton. That’s how we came up with Amelia’s Closet.”
The name of the boutique was chosen to honor her grandmother, a woman Meckes said was known for her faith and prayer-based life.
“Amelia is my grandmother’s name. She was a woman known for being devoted to prayer and her faith in God,” she said. “My grandmother used to pray in her closet and that’s where we came up with the name for the store.”
Meckes said she hopes to unite women who love fashion regardless of the different faiths they might practice.
“Amelia’s Closet is not here to bash religion and Christianity,” she said. “We are here to be an open door to a place where people can come in and be comfortable. We love fashion and hopefully, that gives us a common ground.”
Perez said she and her daughter hope to carry a range of sizes in their store.
“One of the things that Kayla and I are working toward is finding pieces of clothing for every woman, whether she’s a size 2 or a size 16,” she said. “We want women to give us a chance and come in here because we get new clothes consistently.”[vimeo]http://vimeo.com/58725385[/vimeo]
Meckes said the styles in the store revolve around her personal preferences as well as the passing seasons.
“Our styles change based on each season and they are based on my style,” she said. “I have a very random style I like to call Urban Chic — a city style with a fresh, modest, comfortable and cute look for a woman.”
Despite running a business together, Meckes said that her relationship with her mother remains the same.
“Our relationship is the same just as any mother and daughter; we butt heads,” Meckes said. “I’ve grown up, so I’ve learned to shut my mouth up a little bit more and she has learned to kind of back away a little bit. Overall, we work well together.”
Meckes is expecting her first child with her husband, and she balances her classes and business in such a way that does not interfere with her time with her family.
“I have always being a busy person, so it works out for me,” Meckes said. “I go to school in the morning, after which I have a little lunch break and then come here [to the store] and get focused on Amelia’s Closet, I go home and sometimes cook dinner. I do my homework at night and leave an hour to spend with my husband so each part of my life does not get in the way of another.”
According to Meckes, students thinking about starting a business should research each facet of the industry rather than blindly begin their ventures.
“It does not happen right away,” she said. “Success isn’t overnight; it is a time of patience and focusing on your future.”