Local Business

Mother & Daughter Team Bring Style to Gardendale

Tell our readers a little about you and your journey to owning Gllam Boutique?

Gllam Boutique has such a rich history of family. The shop was originally founded by three ladies who worked together to set a strong entrepreneurial example for their children. So much so, they decided to source Gllam’s name from the first letter of each of their daughter’s names. I’m fortunate enough to be able to claim responsibility for Gllam’s misspelling. My name is Leila, and my mom and business-partner, Sam, was one of those founding women. Fast forward six years, life had run its course, and the previous owner/operator had made the difficult decision to close Gllam’s doors. Ironically, the reason she wanted to step away was our exact incentive to step in and reopen Gllam in a whole new light. I had a newborn at the time, and after an abundance of contemplation, number crunching, and prayers, we decided that keeping Gllam’s legacy alive was what was meant for our family.

Your inventory is trendy, but also classic and timeless. How do you decide what to carry for your store?

When searching for clothing lines, our greatest focus is inclusivity. We want both, you and your mom, to leave in something that you feel confident wearing, regardless of your size. In order to do this, it’s imperative we keep the right balance of bold, unique pieces and more traditionally flattering and transitional styles.

Photo courtesy of Gllam Boutique.

Gllam is a clothing boutique, but you offer much more. Tell us about your range of clothing and gift lines?

Gllam carries an array of products, and they just start at women’s contemporary fashion. Our inventory also includes an assortment of gift items. We carry local woodwork, candles, baby gifts, and so much more! Our main focus when bringing brands into the store will always be to find quality, small companies as locally as possible to partner with.

How have Gardendale and surrounding areas embraced your shop? Are there challenges to operating a store like Gllam in a smaller town?

When we decided to reopen in June of 2021, of course, we had concerns of how our vision would be executed and perceived. Gllam has been totally built around our growing little family, and we wanted to create an environment where everyone could feel welcome, regardless of their background or circumstances. One of the best ways we’ve been able to accomplish this is being in such a tightly knit community. At the end of the day, we’re all neighbors who want the best for each other, and our regular customers come into the store knowing that philosophy is at the heart of Gllam Boutique.

Photo courtesy of Gllam Boutique.

Instead of carrying consignment items in a traditional sense, you actually purchase the consignment items outright. Explain the concept and how it has been a success for your store?

When we were first planning our concepts for Gllam’s relaunch, we discussed how we could combat the waste that fast fashion trends produce. We decided to dedicate a portion of our store to consignment clothing. With our consignment process, our sellers drop their gently used or new clothing off for us to sort through. When we decide what to add to our collection, we settle up with a cash offer. Sellers make money without having to worry about online ads or shipping costs, and our consignment customers are able to find quality, name brand styles for a fraction of the cost of retail. With this method, we present a unique opportunity for both the seller and buyer, and we’re honored to host a forum that combats such a large environmental concern.

Do you offer personal shopping and gift wrapping?

Gllam welcomes a customer requesting guidance! Whether you are ready to step out of your fashion comfort zone or you need an entire gift list checked off, we have you completely covered throughout any shopping experience. Sometimes that gift giving occasion sneaks up on you, or maybe you’re not particularly skilled in the gift wrapping department. Regardless, everyone loves to open a special package, so we include gift wrapping with every purchase to ensure the giver and recipient’s experience is exceptional.

What are your plans in the future? Any plans to expand?

For the time being, our current location in Gardendale is our home, but we’re always open to new adventures. Currently, we have our eye on a couple of new handbag lines, and we also have some exciting new, local partnerships in the works, so stay tuned!