HENDRICKS COUNTY, Ind. - We're switching it up this Your Town Friday! Instead of zeroing in on a town, we're focusing on an entire county.
You'll see why in a minute! First though, Hendricks County is the second-fastest growing county in the state. Approximately 160,000 people live there.
It was formed in 1824 and is named for Indiana Gov. William Hendricks, who was in office at the time. There are eleven towns and several unincorporated communities. And in them, many, many boutiques! And you might wonder, can they all succeed? Is it cutthroat to survive?
In this county, they're proving there is plenty of room for local shopping.
Valerie Selman is seeing that firsthand, as the owner of year-old boutique called Brick and Belle in Avon. She even has other boutique owners who shop in her store!
Valerie started selling out of her trunk and then her home and about a year ago she secured a traditional brick and mortar.
But that's not all.
She also has Brick and Belle Boutique On the Go. Think of it like a food truck, but it's a little shop.
"Basically, it looks like a mini store inside!" said Valerie. "It even has a dressing room."
It's not really a surprise Valerie's Brick and Belle Boutique would have a driving element.
"My husband Wayne and I got married at the yard of bricks (at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway). I’ve worked for several different race teams. My daughter's husband works for John Force Racing. My husband’s son Chase works for Dreyer and Reinbold and he’s married to Danica’s sister (Brooke). Then his other son is Cody and he is married to Jamie Little (NASCAR pit reporter).
"And the belle means pretty woman which represents my two daughters."
Nothing at Brick and Belle costs more than $45 and be sure you check out the authentic IMS bricks at the front door.
"There’s an area at the Speedway where the bricks have gone into the water and my husband Wayne actually went golfing and found those!"
When out in Brick and Belle Boutique On the Go, Valerie might pass Jennifer and Julie, two sisters who have a mobile unit for their Brownsburg boutique, Caroline's.
So is it a race? Is there big competition?
"I think there’s room for everyone!" said Jennifer Hoereth, co-owner of Caroline's Boutique. "We each have our own style and we each present something different to the community or our shoppers."
And this weekend they'll prove it's one big happy family with the county's Third Annual Boutique Crawl.
"We are very excited," said Jennifer. "There are eleven of us total in Hendricks County and we are expecting a huge turnout. It’s been great the last three years. Girls love to get together and shop. We’re going to offer some discounts, have some giveaways, lots of prizes and snacks and goodies."
"They come out and support us no matter what," said Jennifer. "I feel like it's big but yet it’s so small, everybody knows each other and anytime there’s anything that happens in our community, we’re there to support each other."
Her sister Julie Sinclair agrees.
"I love the small-town feel, but yet it's growing. It's awesome to see. Back when my sister Jennifer and I grew up, there weren't many places to shop and now there are a ton. You don't even have to leave the Hendricks County area!"
The Third Annual Hendricks County Boutique Crawl runs Friday through Sunday, September 14-16.
For a map and a complete list of boutiques and restaurants taking part, click here. Swag bags full of goodies will be given away to the first ten customers to make a $25 purchase on Friday and Saturday at each boutique.
You can find Brick and Belle Boutique at 9739 US Highway 36 in Avon.
If you'd like us to visit your town for Your Town Friday, just click here to let Lindy know!