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Ashley Sheffield holds ribbon cutting at The Farmer’s Wife

After years of operating Blown Away Salon and the Red Dresser, Ashley Sheffield finally opened a retail store this past year. On Thursday afternoon she celebrated the long awaited accomplishment by holding a ribbon cutting ceremony for The Farmer’s Wife Boutique.

Sheffield came to Bainbridge nine years ago and opened Blown Away Salon on Clay Street. However, after five years of just cutting and styling hair, Sheffield decided to purchase one rack of clothing.

“I’ve always loved shopping,” Sheffield said. “My mom and my sister and I used to get together and go shopping every weekend, and I always thought it would be neat to own a store.”

Sheffield never believed her dream would become a reality.

“I remember the day I went home and told my husband I bought some clothes to sell in the store; I spent about $3,500,” Sheffield said.

Sheffield’s husband’s response was one of surprise, but she promised him if the clothing didn’t work out she wouldn’t order any again.

“Within two weeks all those clothes off the rack were gone,” Sheffield said.

Since that first rack, the business has exploded.

Sheffield said she would post clothing on her page and customers would claim the items and come in and pay later, or they would do “mystery bags” that contained several items and people could purchase those as well.

As the clothing kept expanding, Sheffield knew it was time for her to expand her store as well. She then moved her business to Water Street last January and opened up The Farmer’s Wife.

“I never dreamed business could be any better than what it already was on Clay Street, but I was wrong” she said.

Sheffield has continued to carry the same tried and true brands she did at Blown Away, but has added additional items as well. The store now carries Swig Cups, Judy Blue Jeans and more home décor than previously.

One of the home décor brands the store carries is Rhonda Griffin Fine Art.

Sheffield said Griffin will actually be at the store for the Downtown Open House, hosting a Pop Up Shop.
“I like to carry mainly her agricultural stuff, because we are an agricultural community, but she has amazing stuff and is so talented and a joy to work with,” Sheffield said.

When it comes to the variety of options, Sheffield always has one main thread that times them together: affordability.

“I’m all about affordability,” she said. “I want someone to come here and if they’re on a budget they can get a $35 pair of jeans; I want a price range for every customer. Sometimes I won’t order stuff because I think it’s too expensive.”

The affordability and unique clothing options have drawn in customers from all over.

Sheffield said the store has seen more customers than their Clay Street building ever did.

“We see people from Tallahassee, Marianna, Sneads and Dothan, and I know it’s because we are more visible,” Sheffield said. “Sometimes it may be food that brought them here, but then they stop and shop.”

Sheffield was thrilled to see the traffic in the store double, and her clientele for the salon pick up as well.

Sheffield now only does hair on Tuesday and Thursdays in order to allow herself to help style customers as well.

“People are constantly asking me questions when I’m doing hair, and I don’t want to be able to not give someone my full attention,” Sheffield said.

Sheffield said she also does work one Saturday a month to help with color and dye jobs too.

Overall, Sheffield thinks the change has been a true dream.

“Coming to work is a pleasure,” she said. “I work with a dependable group of people, who I know love working here as much as I do, and I couldn’t ask for more.”

Sheffield thanks everyone for welcoming her to the downtown with open arms; she said it is something she had dreamed of for a long time.

“To finally be here is such a humbling experience,” Sheffield finished.

She invites everyone to come shop with them at their new location on 207 E. Water Street.