Ellie Boutique originally debuted in November 2003, following a long year of conceptualizing, planning, and dreaming the store into existence. College roommates, and best friends, Natalie Harris Gilbert and Kelly Langley Poole were making plans that far separated themselves from the degrees they received at Auburn University: Natalie’s in speech pathology and Kelly’s in business management. While they worked in their trained fields for a time, they both had a passion for color, style, and clothing which would eventually lead them to creating ellie, named for the blending of both of their first names, and fashioned in a decidedly purple design.
Ellie Boutique was designed to fill a need that the girls saw lacking in their University town: clothing that was fashion forward and yet affordable for everyone – including college students. Closely following ellie’s third birthday, ellie shoes opened its doors to showcase a wide variety of colorful and fun shoes to meet every shoe lover’s needs.
Straying from their own deep orange and blue roots, Natalie and Kelly began visiting Tuscaloosa, AL, and soon opened ellie crimson, a name which pays homage to the University of Alabama’s campus, the hounds tooth pattern, and the colors that have made the town famous.
Through the starting of these businesses, Natalie and Kelly have proven several things to themselves as well as those around them: that they believe in a practical world, therefore they believe in work, hard work. That while a man’s heart plans his way, the Lord directs every step (Proverbs 16:9). And finally: that fantasy and clothes truly go together.
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