Northport, Alabama Boutique Finds Home in New Tuscaloosa Location
A local boutique, Make America Cute Again (which goes by MACA) has moved out of its downtown Northport location and into a bigger building off Highway 69 North.
Northport native Katelyn Babb opened MACA four years ago as a kids-only boutique, but after six months, she changed her business to be an all-inclusive women's boutique.
"So we started as a kids-only boutique, and we probably did [that] for about six months before we realized that there was a need for affordable, all-inclusive adult clothing," Babb said.
Babb says that while most boutiques in the area cater to a younger demographic, her boutique is mostly centered around serving the needs of working women.
"We use the phrase, 'People Over Profit,'" Babb said. "We [cater to] stay-at-home moms and ladies who aren't in that typical college girl age that most boutiques hone into."
Babb said they decided to move to a new location to get more space and be closer to her home.
"We didn't have a ton of foot traffic downtown and then we kind of run out of space," Babb said. "Here we have this space, and then we've got the potential to use next door space when it comes available."
In addition to selling clothes, MACA also sells refurnished furniture like table and chair sets, which is what they needed more space for. Her husband makes the furniture, which he started doing after Babb got him to make her a headboard.
"I wanted a new headboard, and we couldn't afford it, and I was like, 'Can you make that for me?'" Babb said. "And so he got to pulling pallets apart that we've gotten for free and now it's kind of grown to like custom pieces that people want made or antique furniture refinished."
The best thing about MACA's furniture, besides the handmade quality, is the price tag.
"We do it kind of affordably too," Babb said. "So that if people aren't in the market for a high-end, thousands of dollars worth of table, we're able to kind of be that middle ground between Walmart and expensive."
Babb also partners with two local businesses, Left Hand Soap Company and Candle King Candles, to sell their products. She says that it is important to support the community.
"Part of the community aspect that we wanted to bring in was local handmade things that are kind of blended with, like boutique things that you couldn't get handmade locally," Babb said.
Babb also likes to support the community by giving back and will be partnering with Tuscaloosa Angels to have a foster parent support drive within the next month. She says she enjoys getting to know her customers and sees them as more than someone just buying a product.
"I think we have the best customers on the planet," Babb said. "We do a lot of business on our app, but being in-store, we get to see our customers, so we know their kids' names, and we see them more than just a dollar [amount]. A lot of times, they'll come in here not to buy anything; they just come in here and talk for an hour. So that's our pride, I think, is that people come in here and feel like they're part of something else."
MACA sells boutique items that range from $10 to $50 and include jewelry, local gift items, sandals, t-shirts and business casual women's clothing. They also sell kids' clothing online and through their app.