Macy Boling, a 20-year-old born and raised in Lula, plans to shake up the business market in her hometown with the opening of Suddenly Southern.
By the end of February, she hopes to open her embroidery and boutique shop to the public. People can find the business at 6553 Main St. in Lula.
“I’ve always lived in Lula, and there’s not been anything like this here,” Boling said. “I want to help Lula grow.”
Angie Wilbanks, Boling’s mother, said her daughter has always been a go-getter.
While Wilbanks helps her daughter with making embroidery on the side and renovating the store, she said Boling has taken full leadership of Suddenly Southern.
Two years ago Boling took all of her birthday money to use toward purchasing a business license and trademarking the name Suddenly Southern.
She launched the store online, and commissioned work for businesses and individuals.
Two weeks ago she decided to push forward with renovating a building — with the help of family and friends — to transform it into Suddenly Southern. She said having her own brick-and-mortar store would prove beneficial with displaying her products and holding consultations with customers.
For a 20-year-old running her own business, Boling said her age has acted as her largest obstacle.
Oftentimes she said her clients don’t take her seriously, and assume she doesn’t fully grasp what it takes to run a business.
“I take it as a challenge and prove them wrong,” she said. “I don’t ... get upset about it, it pushes me harder.”
Over the past two years Boling has built up her reputation by gaining loyal businesses and clients who use her embroidery services. One of her largest customers includes local dirt race car drivers, who receive custom embroidered hats and T-shirts with their vehicle’s number.
Boling is self-taught, and uses an embroidery machine to complete her work.
Whether people want to create their own design, or have their name monogramed on a lunchbox, Boling is up to the task.
“We’re just really outgoing and friendly, and try our best to provide good customer service,” she said. “We’ll make it right if someone is not satisfied,”
Her upcoming store will have blank T-shirts, bags, hats, baby clothes and other items for those who want a piece embroidered.
Suddenly Southern will additionally provide a boutique portion to the store, including purses, clothing and jewelry.
Boling said she purchases the items from a wholesale boutique company. She personally selects pieces that fit into her store’s “Southern rustic” style.
Boling is currently earning a bachelor’s degree online in marketing from Brenau University, and recently became a certified Zumba fitness instructor.
Once she begins to accumulate more of a customer base with her brick-and-mortar shop, Boling intends to start holding Zumba lessons at the business.
Boling said creating her business wouldn’t have been possible without the support of her husband, parents, grandfather and friends.
To other young entrepreneurs who have hopes of opening their own business, Boling offers one piece of advice.
“You just have to go for it,” she said. “I’ve always worried about having a store, and I just said, ‘OK, I’m going to do it.’ You never know until you try.”