When people see a successful small business, they often see only the result of years of hard work. Many don’t take into consideration the determination, sacrifice, and ultimate leap of faith it takes to turn a driving idea to a tangible reality. Case and point: Shawna James.

You may remember her as part of the Club Car team over the years, as someone who’s treated our business as if it were her own. For as long as we have known her, in the neighborhood of seven years, she has been working toward a single goal: opening her own boutique in Nevada City. For these past years she’s worked service jobs, several at a time, even moved to San Francisco for a couple of years to bank some real dough, with the ultimate goal of opening her shop. We are happy to announce that this past June 1st, Shawna realized this dream, and became the proud proprietor of The Parlour, at 234 Commercial Street in Downtown Nevada City.

Her concept for the store is the mixing of old and new, with carefully chosen affordable (items ranging from $5 – $40) vintage clothing and accessories and new clothing. Always having been an avid thrifter and yard saler, Shawna has created a charming treasure trove of finds for what she calls the “hip ‘townie’ ladies” of Nevada City and beyond. What sets her shop apart from the rest is not it’s unquestionable charm, but the fact that the girl’s got an eye for style, a knack at putting ‘looks’ together, and that she’s created a ‘social space’, not just a store.

In her own words:

There have been many vintage shops come and gone downtown… I think my key to success is making a social space that is inviting where fun and comfort come first, shopping very affordable new and vintage clothing and accessories comes second. I love that people just enjoy stopping in and saying hello with no intention of purchasing anything. I enjoy seeing people having fun and playing dress up much more than making the buck.

I’m not a bumper sticker person but if I did have one it would say -This vehicle brakes for yard sales- I have also always had a niche for recognizing and finding desirable vintage clothing. Almost as long as my thrifting career, I have also had a vision of owning a little vintage boutique in Downtown Nevada City, somewhere I could offer all of my great finds to the fashionable locals at affordable prices.
I also very much wanted not just a clothing shop, but a fun, relaxing social space where I could hang out with my friends and where others would feel comfortable hanging out and socializing. Like the local coffee shop you love to hang out at, where you know you’ll run into several friends and other locals, somewhere that you can forget about the time and just enjoy yourself and others.

So, after years of hard work, saving money, and alot of manifesting… I have created just that.

I knew my vision and concept for affordable vintage clothing and accessories would be desirable, but I had no idea just how much so. The doors have been open almost 4 months and every month has been overwhelmingly successful! I have woman come in every day informing me that The Parlour is the new “buzz” around town. I find myself walking around town in the evenings seeing ladies with something on that they bought that day… holding their Parlour bags and telling friends where they got their new outfit. It’s quite humbling!

Now that I have four months under my belt, I am finding that not only do I have the niche for finding the vintage, I also have a niche for fitting people with my vintage. I can size someone up (size 10-14 being my average customer size) get an idea of their style and my instincts just kick in. I pick something out and amazingly I nail it on the head every time, they love the outfit and it fits perfectly. I have woman that come in every week that don’t even look on the rack, they just ask me if I have anything new for them… And more often than not I do.

The Parlour is open everyday at 11:00am.
I post pictures of all the new clothing on facebook with decriptions and prices.

The Parlour
234 Commercial Street, Downtown Nevada City

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