An Apricot Lane Boutique is expected to open in April at 1002 Caroline St.
It will feature fashions for women in their 20s to 40s.
“It’s really a store that can appeal to mothers and daughters, and they can shop at a mid-price point for some trendier pieces,” said Brianne Schrenk, who owns the franchise with her husband and parents.
She said that she and her parents, Rick and Laura Shamburger of Spotsylvania County, have long wanted to open a business they can run as a family. Schrenk and her mother both have retail and customer service experience. Her husband, Nathan Schrenk, is a math professor at Germanna Community College and will handle the financial end of the business.
They found Apricot Lane during an online search for possibilities, Brianne Schrenk said. The company got its start in 1991 when three business partners opened a gift shop in Vacaville, Calif. They opened two more locations by 1993, then decided to broaden their merchandise and franchise the business.
Their first Apricot Lane Boutique opened in 2007, and the company was named as one of Entrepreneur Magazine’s Top 50 Hot Franchises of the Year in 2008. Today there are 75 franchise stores across the country.
Brianne Schrenk said the concept appealed to them because each store is locally owned and can tailor its offerings to its community. For example, the location in Virginia Beach, the only other one in Virginia, has a beachy, boho vibe, she said.
“There’s no back office telling us what to do and stock in our store,” she said.
Fredericksburg has seen a number of women’s fashion boutiques open downtown in the past few years. Last September, those stores banded together to hold their first fashion show, and had their best year ever, said Ann Glave, Fredericksburg VA Main Street’s executive director. Schrenk said she attended the show and thought it was amazing.
“It was great to see all of the women’s boutiques coming together and showing what makes each of them unique,” she said. “I haven’t been in touch with them since we’re just hitting the ground, but I would love to participate in the fall.”
The Schrenks and Shamburgers are working with Apricot Lane Boutique’s design office to get ideas for renovating their store. It had been the location of Cose Belle Boutique, which closed at the end of December.
“The store is going to be completely custom to us,” Brianne Schrenk said. “We’re in the process of designing ourselves, which is exciting. In the next few weeks, we’ll take bids for construction.”
Cathy Jett: 540/374-5407