George-Mary’s opened in October, and their grand opening was on January 19.
The shop originally ran out of the owner's home, with sales taking place mainly online and through local pop-up shops. Eventually, a steady growth prompted Alesia Lucas to move her business out of her home, and into downtown Starkville.
The store sells a variety of items ranging from home goods to womenswear, and Lucas hopes to expand her products to include menswear in the fall.
The apparel she sells is understated and contains elements to create the perfect combination of vintage and modem styles.
Clothing brands stocked at George-Mary’s include several brands based in Mississippi, as well as many companies which help aid women in third world countries. Lucas said she searches social media to find American brands to stand out and flow with the store’s aesthetic.
“I sell a combination of clothes with brands that people are familiar with, and also brands with a purpose,” Lucas said.
The home good items range from handmade candles and camera straps from California, to wooden pie and cookie boxes from Georgia. Lucas plans to add many more items of the sort.
Lucas, a Mississippi State University alumnus, even sells battle bells to display pride in her alma mater.
The store itself is both simple and elegant. The neutral colors of the clothing and the décor with wooden accents, all make for a calm shopping experience.
The store has an antique wooden mantle which both accentuates the homey feeling of the store and adds an interesting conversation piece.
Behind the counter, there is a photo of a couple, which pays a tender tribute to the store’s namesakes and Lucas’ grandparents, George and Mary.
The unique name of the shop often incites questions from customers about its origin.
Lucas said the name is a combination of familial names, and together, it helps create a “mom and pop” vibe.
“George is a family name on both my husband’s and my side of the family,” Lucas said. “He inspired the menswear part. Mary was my grandmother on my mom’s side. She grew up in the Depression and had to sew all of her clothing. I grew up around her sewing, and that inspired my love for fashion. It’s classic but different, and it means something to me.”
Lucas said she hopes with the generation of specialty shops in the downtown Starkville and surrounding areas, more people will be compelled to shop locally.
“Small business is the backbone of America,” Lucas said. “When you support a small business and you shop local, you are breathing life into their business, their family and their livelihood.”
The shop has generated a fair share of devoted customers, some who even have come to work for her.
Falyn Ruby, a junior at MSU, works as a clerk for Lucas’ store and appreciates her unique style.
“She has a set style,” Ruby said. “She does certain things that keeps the store unique. It’s not trying to complete with different boutiques in town. She has goods that you can’t find here in Starkville, and some you can’t even find in Mississippi."
Lucas said she hopes to eventually open more locations, but, for now, George-Mary’s is in downtown Starkville at 210 East Main Street. For more information on the store, George-Mary’s can be found on Facebook and Instagram