Living a lifelong dream that affords you the chance to blend family, a love of fashion, and down-to-earth fun on a daily basis might seem too wonderful to be true. For mother-daughter duo Donna Merriman and Mary Bingham, co-owners of Fraleigh’s Boutique in Clemmons, it’s simply their very charmed – and very blessed – life!
If you’re just learning about this much-loved boutique, imagine all the elements you’d want in a favorite retail shop – then triple them – and you’re seeing a profile of what Fraleigh’s Boutique has been about since opening in 1981: Decidedly flattering and easy-to-wear clothing and accessories, and a level of customer service so personal you’ll think you’re basically at home trying on clothes with your best girlfriends. Everything these ladies do is personal – in the very best way. With an enthusiastic team of six incredibly dedicated employees, it’s no surprise their business mantra is this: “We are here for you!”
While we’re cruising in to the month of May – with a colorful and fashionable summer ahead – join us for an inside look at Fraleigh’s Boutique, where Donna shares a peek at the season’s trends!
“Embroidered and embellished jeans – or jeans with fringe or a frayed hem – are definitely going to be a must-have item this spring and summer!” says Donna. Thinking bright color this time of year? “Adding pops of color to your outfit never goes out of style,” she adds. “If you are wearing navy and white (classic summer!), add in a little yellow to your accessories!”
Owning a woman’s boutique was always a dream of Donna’s, and with the unconditional love and guidance from her mom and best friend, Mary, it became a reality. The two have collaborated side-by-side in the family business, which will celebrate 38 years of impeccable service to the women of Clemmons and Forsyth County this coming August. When their adventure began, Donna was also mothering small children, so she has watched her own family grow, along with the boutique. As Mary has had to lessen her hours in the store due to health reasons, she knows she’s fortunate to have both Donna, and Donna’s daughter-in-law, and boutique manager, Ally Merriman, to continue and grow the Fraleigh’s tradition. If you’re curious about the store’s unique name, it comes from a combination of Mary and Donna’s middle names: Mary FRAnces and Donna LEIGH, creating Fraleigh’s.
Making it Personal
Having worked in women’s clothing stores since the age of 15, and having grown up in the area, Donna has loved being in business right in the heart of Clemmons, and she and the Fraleigh’s staff understand the importance of shopping local. It has always been their mission to make sure customers are treated just like family – many have been with them for the entire nearly 38 years – and that their camaraderie carries over into the community.
“We focus on delivering the personal service of a specialty store,” says Donna, noting the daily process is made even more enjoyable with her staff of long-time employees who fall under the category of family themselves.
Fraleigh’s also proudly offers a loyalty program to reward frequent customers for shopping with them. For every $30 a customer spends they receive a stamp. When the stamped card is full – which is a total of $300 – the customer receives a $20 gift certificate to use towards anything in the store, with absolutely no exclusions.
Fraleigh’s is known for carrying every piece a busy woman’s wardrobe needs, covering sizes two to 20, from trendy blue jeans all the way to cocktail attire and mother-of-the-bride or mother-of-the-groom dresses, with the perfect shoes and accessories to complement any ensemble.
If you’re all about keeping pace with a “fashion forward” look, or if you’re more traditional (which, thankfully, translates to timeless!), Fraleigh’s has you covered. Each item of clothing is carefully hand-picked by Donna, keeping current trends and color schemes in mind of course, but also keeping the needs and tastes of her current customer base in mind as well. Typically, she only orders three or four pieces of a single item, which means customers know they are buying something special – and best of all – they won’t see countless other women around town in the same outfit!
Even if shopping isn’t your favorite pastime, the ladies at Fraleigh’s are experts at reading your personal style and fashion comfort zone, and putting together an outfit you’ll adore. They are masters at adding a bright spot of color or two, in places that will flatter you most, and promising you’ll feel pretty – and pampered – when you leave the boutique.
A few of the more popular clothing lines include Tribal, Marble, LuLu B., Foxcroft, Luii, Ming Wang, Habitat, Alex Evenings, and Jessica Howard. Also wildly popular – as you’d expect! – are the SlimSation by Multiples, the boutique’s #1 selling pant.
“These pants are all about looking amazing and feeling comfortable at the same time,” says Donna. “SlimSation offers slimming style with a flexible tummy control panel, and can make you feel 10 pounds lighter in mere seconds!”
If fabulous shoes are your shopping obsession, Fraleigh’s carries Onex and Charleston Shoe Company, along with an extensive array of Brighton shoes, jewelry, handbags, and other accessories. If your basic wardrobe of separates is already in good shape and you simply need inspiration with accessories, these ladies are happy to help tie your look together with polished style.
Welcome spring and summer to your wardrobe with a visit to Fraleigh’s Boutique, located at 2626 Lewisville-Clemmons Road in Clemmons, NC. You can reach them at 336-766-7440, by email at email@example.com, and follow their updates on current specials and events online at fraleighsboutiquenc.com. Boutique hours are Monday through Friday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., and Saturday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.