Pretty Please goes off Broad - and onto Main

Melinda Irby offers a bright and cheerful shop with an eclectic variety of merchandise at Pretty Please on Broad Boutique, now in its new Main Street location.

Customers of the Altavista boutique Pretty Please on Broad Boutique may have noticed—assuming that they have made it out and about around town—that the shop is no longer in its former location on Broad Street. Never fear, though: the shop is not gone; rather it has moved. It has, if you will, gone off Broad… and onto Main.

To be precise, it is now at 1013A Main Street, in the same plaza with the Altavista Journal, near One Stop, and across the street from Domino’s and Vista Pawn. So if cabin fever has you down, or if you have shopping withdrawal and need to browse the charming and eclectic offerings of Pretty Please, you can find the shop right in the middle of Main Street. And to our male readers—as well as people who don’t live locally and women who are not clothes shopping fans—keep reading; this store offers something for everyone.

Proprietor Melinda Irby noted that the shop moved to its new location in mid-January, but during the shutdown (throughout which she has kept the doors open) sales have been down over 50%--and much of the business has been through her Live Sales online.

“I’ve been offering the Live Sales on Thursdays at 6:00 p.m. on my Facebook page. They let people shop new products and clearance sales via virtual shopping. There’s no need for them to leave the house,” Irby remarked.

“I try to make it fun,” she added. One week she wore a unicorn costume for the online event, which she broadcasts live from her shop. Last week’s event featured a New Orleans style Mardi Gras mask, a good choice for the New Orleans native. “That’s what I think of when I hear the word mask… well, until coronavirus,” she explained.

Pretty Please offers free curbside pickup, and on orders of $20 or more, free delivery is available within a 10-mile radius. Shipping is offered at a flat rate of $5. Orders of $75 or more qualify for free shipping. Orders can be placed via internet on the store’s website——on Facebook, or on Instagram.

For those coming to the brick and mortar location, if you are corona-conscious, mask and gloves are provided for free. And the store offers hand sanitizer and cloth masks for sale. “We’ve been keeping it to eight or fewer customers at a time inside the store because it’s a small space,” Irby reassured.

The new digs formerly housed a tanning salon, but Irby has put the different floorplan to good use. In addition to the main room, there is a dressing room, the “hot mess room” – Irby’s nickname for her monogramming and embroidery studio, and the “girly room,” which is a prettily decorated and well-lit room for displaying women’s clothing. It is also the recording site for the live sales events.

In addition to women’s fashion (clothing, accessories, and jewelry), the fashionista has expanded her health and beauty products, as well as her array of locally produced items. For instance, she now offers jellies and jams from Phillip Popeck’s Slow Moving Farms. “The more diverse and eclectic things I can offer, the more people it brings in,” she pointed out.

So men, are you still with me? Not only are there products you’ll enjoy such as the homemade goodies from Slow Moving Farms, but there are plenty of great gift ideas for your wife, significant other, mother, or daughter.

Another draw in favor of Pretty Please is the increased emphasis on products made in the USA. Irby reports that she has been putting a lot of time and effort into sourcing American-made merchandise to offer. She also specializes in offering products not available anywhere else in town.

Pretty Please offers monogramming and embroidery services, and Irby is thankful that local businesses and sports teams avail themselves of her services. She offers competitive prices and quality work.

She also supports local businesses. “I have weekly contests in which I pop another local business: I give away gift cards to places such as the Tuscan Italian Grill or Cupcakes from Sweet Spot Southern Bakery.” Irby spoke of the importance of shopping local and the businesses sticking together through these economically difficult times. On Friday, when the Phase One reopening began, she commented, “Even with the limited opening, I’m glad to see my neighbors back and open for business again.”

A fun fact about the fun-loving fashionista: she hasn’t always been a fashion guru. “I’m a computer geek, an IT person,” she admitted.

As the shop’s online description states, “Pretty Please on Broad Boutique is a high fashion boutique without the high fashion price tag.” Pretty Please has been an Altavista small business for nearly five years (five years as of July). And while it still has “on Broad” in its name, look for it on Main Street.

For more local news such as this, pick up a copy of this week's Altavista Journal in stores throughout Altavista, Hurt, southern Campbell and Northern Pittsylvania counties. Or subscribe to the Journal by calling 434.369.6688.