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The opening of The Merry Moore Boutique is set to coincide with First Friday Art Walk on May 3.
SBJ photo by Mike Cullinan
The opening of The Merry Moore Boutique is set to coincide with First Friday Art Walk on May 3.

Walnut Street gains a new boutique

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After several years in Arkansas, a Missouri State University graduate has returned to the Queen City to open a downtown boutique.

The opening of The Merry Moore Boutique, 400 E. Walnut St., Ste. 120, is scheduled for late Friday afternoon, in conjunction with First Friday Art Walk.

Owner Hayley Moore Valdez said her store will offer women’s clothing, including dresses, jackets, sweaters, tops, bottoms and shoes. Accessories such as jewelry and candles, also will be available, along with a small selection of men’s clothing.

“I started this boutique out of frustration of not finding clothing that I was excited about,” Valdez said. “When I started working, I realized that it didn’t make sense to have two totally different wardrobes anymore. I really needed to find pieces that I could wear to work but that were still cute that I would want to wear in the evenings or on weekends.”

Valdez graduated from MSU in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in fashion merchandising and design, and she’s spent the past six years living in Bentonville, Arkansas. She worked most of that time for Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT) in product development with suppliers for the Better Homes & Gardens line. In May 2017, as a side hustle, she started The Merry Moore, an e-commerce women’s boutique.

Declining to disclose revenue from her online venture, Valdez said she would maintain the e-commerce side while pursuing her first brick-and-mortar venture.

The Merry Moore Boutique fills the space held for a dozen years by Ella Weiss Wedding Design LLC, which closed in 2017. The shop is in approximately 1,200 square feet, with Valdez on a three-year lease with Big Ugly Building Co. LLC for an undisclosed rate.

Valdez said both she and her husband Ronnie have family and friends in Springfield.

“It just felt right to come back,” she said.

Already familiar with the former Ella Weiss site – a store where she shopped for a wedding dress several years ago – Valdez said she was drawn to downtown when it came time to find a location for her boutique.

“I just love what was already here. It didn’t need a lot of work to it,” she said of the Walnut Street space, declining to disclose startup costs. “The downtown community is really where my heart was. Being away, too, in Arkansas and coming back here every so often, I felt like downtown is changing and has seen so many great businesses come in. I just want to be part of that growth.”

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