Jackie Sanders and her daughter, Lucy Gale, often talked about what kind of boutique they would like to have. First, it would offer clothes that both mothers and daughters would feel stylish wearing. And for the moms, a place to sit down was a must. Heading up their own store was a common dream for the pair.
But when Gale died in an automobile accident at age 16, Sanders wasn’t sure she would be able to do it without her “LuBug.” It wasn’t until she moved to the Heights and fell in love with the neighborhood and its people that she made their dream a reality.
“I’ve been doing retail since I was 16,” Sanders said. “I always wanted to have my own.”
Lucy’s Boutique and Gifts, located at 915 N. Shepherd Dr. Suite F in a former Radio Shack location, has been open since 2017 and is developing a following in the neighborhood.
“(But) I still think there’s a lot of people who don’t know we’re here,” Sanders said.
First-time shoppers Jamie Mueller and her mom, Jill Rimes, commented on the variety of items at Lucy’s.
“We love it,” Mueller said. “There are so many random little things that would make great gifts.”
Rimes said the range of merchandise available at Lucy’s reminded her of the long-closed Kaplan’s Ben Hur Department Store in the Heights.
Sanders said they do their best to pack in as much as possible in their existing space as well as to offer a range of price points on clothing and gifts.
“Lucy wanted a place where everybody could shop,” Sanders said. “The things I pick out are things she would have liked. My sister helps me with the clothes.”
Gale’s spirit also lives on in the store’s altruism.
“She never met a stranger and would do anything for anybody,” Sanders said.
Lucy’s has partnered with Santa Maria Hostel, one of Texas’ largest multi-site residential and outpatient substance use disorder treatment centers for women. The boutique donated more than $25,000 in merchandise to help these women restart their lives.
“When we finish our sidewalk sale, we donate everything to the women in recovery,” Sanders said.
Items help the women spruce up their apartments, and the new clothes from Lucy’s come in handy during job interviews and to give their babies something cute to wear.
“(The women) are very appreciative,” Sanders said. “They took a photo of themselves wearing the clothes and signed it and framed it for me. It’s hanging in the store.”
Sanders also works with area schools and donates to Kickstart Kids, a character development program started in 1990 by actor and martial artist Chuck Norris.
Aside from Lucy’s sidewalk sales, there are other in-store fun events. Gale’s birthday – Jan. 19 – will be a celebration with sales.
Sanders said she is glad that the family forged ahead to open Lucy’s – despite the fact that their home flooded three months after they purchased it, because of Hurricane Harvey.
“The girls (who work here) say they’ve never worked anywhere like this before,” Sanders said. “It’s supposed to be fun.”
Find Lucy’s on Facebook and at ilovelucys.com.