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Logan Darnell/Coal Valley News - Lori Whited celebrates the grand opening of her business, the Boone Magnolia Boutique.

By LOGAN DARNELL

For the Coal Valley News

DANVILLE - The Boone Magnolia Boutique held its grand opening on Aug. 17, to the delight of many excited customers.

The shop, which is located on Country Corner Circle in Danville, is focused on selling handmade work and clothing, as well as coffee and baked goods. Lori Whited, the owner of Boone Magnolia Boutique, was inspired to take her hobby of crafting from an online page to a physical location.

"I've made signs and built furniture over the past two years. I've had an Etsy shop and I've stocked booths at antique malls. I started meeting so many sellers and makers, and it inspired me to want to give a space that wasn't necessarily an antique mall."

Whited's search for a suitable space for the shop did not come easily. Whited, who is a mother, wanted a location that would be perfect for her children. When she found the Country Corner Circle space, she knew she needed to renovate the space to make it kid-friendly. She went to work, juggling renovations and taking care of the kids. After many weeks of effort, the shop now has new flooring, an open concept and a designated playroom area for her children and customers' children with a window in the shop for easy supervision.

The work was important to Whited, who puts her kids first.

"They've been with me every single day for 42 days," she says. "And I've been here. They're the reason for everything. Just being able to have a business and make them top priority was very important to me."

Being able to finally open the shop she visualized was very emotional for Whited, as the store provides business for over 35 other makers. The artists are predominantly from the Mountain State, but the Boone Magnolia Boutique welcomes works from states all across the nation, including California, Pennsylvania, Utah and Wisconsin. The baked goods are made locally from different bakers Whited wishes to support.

Whited said she is thankful for the way things have gone during the process, even with the hard work it has taken. "Everything has just fallen into place," she said.

A little encouragement, along with that she has received from friends and loved ones, came from a fortune cookie she opened prior to the store's opening: "To be a success in business, be daring, be first and be different."

"It hit home for me," says Whited.

Whited thanks the Boone County Development Authority, including Kris Mitchell and Doug Spalding for their help. She says she feels sorrow for the ongoing grant issue surrounding the office, as it played a part in making the boutique and other people's ideas possible. She also thanks her friend Taija Rae Mayhorn, who helped with the renovations and the shop in general. Her husband, Billy Whited, has worked hard to provide financial support. The customers are also very important to her, as their enthusiasm helped make the store happen, Whited said.

The Boone Magnolia Boutique is open every day, from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. on weekdays, and 9 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. on weekends.