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Local boutiques affected by COVID-19

Businesses all over have been shut down and experiencing a decrease in sales. Local business owners tell more about the struggles that came with the pandemic.

Serendipity Boutique owner Jenna Vance said they were closed down for two months and it was very hard because 95 percent of their sales are in person.

Many businesses were shut down for months due to the pandemic and had to adjust to the decrease in sales. Vance said they got stuck with inventory that was out of season since they were closed for some time and had to figure out what inventory to buy and how much of it.

Not only were these stores shut down but so were their vendors and brand distributors. Carrie Burkett, owner of James C. Boutique, said they had to find a new vendor because theirs was still shut down when they reopened. This was a struggle because they weren’t receiving the same quality as before, so it took some time to find the right fit for the store.

Another big factor affecting these local boutiques was the timing. Being close to the University of Kentucky’s campus, they draw in many students who are looking for an outfit for big events. Burkett said, “When we closed in March, it was awful timing with Keeneland, Derby, Easter and graduation.” Once reopening, there has been less business because big events still aren’t happening which is when many of these boutiques increase sales.

As local boutiques continue to stay open during COVID-19 they are finding new ways to reach their customers. You can find most of these local stores on Instagram and online websites. Some, including James C. Boutique, even offer curbside pickup and delivery. Burkett said, “We will do literally anything!”

10 local boutiques to visit on your next shopping spree:

Serendipity Boutique

James C. Boutique

Calypso Boutique

Steel Mill & Co.

Pirie Boutique


Sugar Belles

Eleventh House

Bella Rose

Omar + Elsie


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