Callunas Boutique is the newest addition to The Square in Bridgeport. The announcement was made in April and after months of remodeling and tweaking her space, owner Charli Varner opens for business at 10 a.m. today.
Her experience in managing stores including Maurice’s, Charlotte Russe, Cato’s and Francesca’s inspired the Morgantown resident to open a women’s boutique of her own.
“I saw through the years what works and what doesn’t work,” she said. “Different companies are doing things that I want to combine. I love fashion and just kind of wanted to do it my way.”
Varner describes the boutique style as bohemian and said her pieces are suitable for women of all ages. tops and jeans and flowy dresses in solids, as well as striped and floral patterns. New pieces will arrive weekly to keep inventory flowing, she said.
She has spent the past year selecting and purchasing pieces from wholesalers, including Faire and Doe and Rae. While building up her inventory, Varner kept her eyes open for a boutique location. When she learned about the available space at The Square, she decided it was ideal.
The boutique is in the end cap building which previously housed Wholesale Tire. Varner is leasing the middle space between Insight Astronomy and The Bridge Nutrition.
“We are excited,” property owner Scott Werdebaugh. “It’s a nice addition and will create some nice energy with this group of businesses.”
In addition to women’s clothing, Callunas Boutique will carry a baby/toddler girl’s line custom created by a friend, as well as jewelry and novelties. More jewelry is on the way and the addition of hats and handbags.
“We have necklaces, bracelets and earrings, as well as candles, little jars of gummy bears and other gift items,” Varner said. “When I worked at Francesca’s (in Morgantown), I decided this was the kind of store I wanted. They had a little bit of everything.”
Family members have gotten involved in the store. Her niece makes individual scented soaps and her nephew is in the process of making unique coasters. Her husband and brother-in-law even made her a custom wooden cash wrap counter.
Varner shared the story behind the name of her boutique, inspired in part by her 1-year-old daughter Luna.
“When she was born, we were discussing what kinds of flowers we wanted to put around our house and I picked heather flowers – which I later discovered that the scientific name is Calluna Vulgaris,” Varner said. “We would call Luna our little Calluna flower. I jokingly said I should name my future boutique Callunas – and it just kind of stuck.”
The boutique is open 10-7 Monday through Friday and 9-5 Saturday. It will be closed Monday, July 5 for the 4th of July holiday.
Gift cards are also available for purchase. Varner’s initial special is 25% off a bralette with purchase of dress or tank.
Varner and her husband KJ have three children: Luna, 9-year-old Jenson and 14-year-old Aidan.