Most places don’t allow you to eat while you peruse the inventory. But at the shops located under the bright teal awning on the square in Boonville, Indiana, it’s encouraged.
Shabby Sheek Boutique and 2nd Street Sweets have two very different products under a single roof, yet both offer something special at a price point affordable to all.
“For me, it’s not so much the piece. I love repurposing pieces,” says Lesa Mayer, owner of Shabby Sheek Boutique. “It’s the reaction people have when they get something they just absolutely love. I love taking different things and making something new out of something that was discarded. Yes, I want to make a living at this, but more importantly I want people to be happy.”
Lesa and her husband Mark Mayer purchased Shabby Sheek Boutique, 115 N. Second St., in December 2013 from a friend closing the resale shop. Under Lesa’s ownership, the boutique has grown to include vintage, handmade, and repurposed home decor. In February 2016, their son Elijah and daughter-in-law Jamie Mayer opened 2nd Street Sweets after converting the store’s back room into a commercial kitchen.
Jamie starts baking each morning at 4 a.m. Customers often suggest she should charge more for her delectable desserts, which range from French macaroons to sugar cookies and cinnamon roll bread to a variety of cupcakes. But she stands behind her business model.
“I wanted to put it at a price that the mom who has five kids, who maybe lives paycheck to paycheck, or the little girl who has a $2 allowance, or the older lady who is living on a fixed income can afford — I want them to come in and treat themselves with something they can’t get anywhere else,” says Jamie.
The Mayers have heard their fare share of profanity when someone experiences a 2nd Street Sweets cupcake for the first time, which prompts them to give new customers space to savor the moment.
“It’s a party in your mouth,” says Mark. “Anybody can make a cupcake. But to get a cupcake that someone puts in their mouth and they have a religious experience with — that’s something special.”