Sugar Belle’s celebrates two years

Sugar Belle’s in Winchester is turning two.

The boutique will celebrate its two year anniversary by hosting a Customer Appreciation Day Saturday, Katie Ledford, Winchester native and owner of Sugar Belle’s, said.

Ledford said the anniversary celebration would also feature a photo booth if weather permits as well as music, refreshments and more. The party starts and ends during the boutique’s regular store hours from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

“Just to reach two years in Winchester is awesome,” Ledford said. “The community has supported us and to open up a store there and support the economy downtown and contribute to the revitalization downtown is important to me.”

The first 25 customers at the Winchester boutique will receive a “Swag Bag” full of goodies and coupons. The first 10 customers will receive a special gift in their goodie bags.

There will also be a BOGO half-off discount storewide including clearance. Attendees can enter to win a giveaway by showing up and then again by making a purchase. Those who share the event listed on the Sugar Belle’s Winchester Facebook page will be entered to win five times.

Sugar Belle’s also has a Lexington location. Both stores are open Tuesday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Ledford said Sugar Belle’s is for women who want more fun in their life. She stocks items that are of bright colors with a southern flare and the store carries everything from apparel, shoes, accessories and some home decor and gift items.

“Our tagline is sweet southern chic,” she said.

Ledford said she owes the success of the store to her loyal customers. She said there’s something special about shopping local. Every item in the boutique has had a special touch from the owner. She’s personally tagged, steamed and hung up items in the store.

“Not only are you selling a product, but you’re also selling a service,” Ledford said. “That’s important to the customer, and they realize they are helping support the community.”

Ledford started as a broadcast journalism and mass communication major at the University of Kentucky. She knew nothing about business, she said.

In August 2015, she was operating an online boutique out of a spare bedroom at nights while working a full-time job.

“It was really fun,” Ledford said. “I loved it and wanted to continue, wanted to do something more but I couldn’t do it out of a spare bedroom for the rest of my life.”

Now, she runs two locations and knows a lot more about all aspects of the business — promotions, marketing, inventory management, business management and more.

“I had to figure it out as I went,” Ledford said.

Ledford said she is going to continue growing the business and plans to focus more efforts on expanding the website’s reach.

The Winchester boutique has come a long way in its two years, Ledford said. She said she started out small, having trouble getting the word out but as downtown kept growing so did her business.

“Thankfully, it’s worked out, and I’m happy to reach this two-year milestone,” Ledford said. “I hope to be there 20 more years and more.”