Cotton and Grain Boutique featured in VoyageRaleigh Magazine

Cotton and Grain Boutique featured in VoyageRaleigh Magazine

women's clothing

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Today we’d like to introduce you to Kim Lyons.

Hi Kim, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, you could tell our readers some of your backstories.
After time spent in the airline industry after college, a military lifestyle took over, and the adventures began with new goals and priorities for our growing family. I began to work for myself as a photographer and realized that I enjoyed entrepreneurship. Being an entrepreneur allowed me the flexibility to continue business as we moved around the country. With love for everything design and fashion, I knew that I wanted to open an online shop. It could be a way to satisfy my obsession with shopping:). With clothing and home decor, including an emphasis on wood decor products, as my focus, Cotton and Grain was born in November 2017. I quickly learned what I needed to do, and the ability to photograph my product allowed me to create my website right away. The popularity of the clothing collections allowed me to refocus the shop into an all-clothing boutique.

In 2019, I moved my business and all of its inventory into a small studio space in downtown Southern Pines for customers to make appointments to shop. The studio is upstairs in a beautiful old building right on Broad Street in the heart of this charming and bustling little downtown. It’s a unique concept that allows my customers a private shopping experience where they can receive personalized styling or take their time shopping. Those that like to shop online can enjoy local pickup to save on shipping or have the opportunity to come in and try on their purchases before taking them home. My customers also enjoy small group shopping parties that can be arranged and are filled with fun, laughter, and little bites and cocktails.

Cotton and Grain just celebrated its 5th year in business in November! I couldn’t be happier with how business is going and enjoy my customers across the country. I never knew that Cotton and Grain would be rooted in the community as it has become, with a huge amount of its business being from local customers. Being a part of the community is important to me, and I was curious to know how that could happen to be an online store and not having a storefront. But, each day surprises me with returning customers. Cotton and Grain is unique, and it is important to me to build relationships, and that is how I have maintained repeat business from so many of my customers near and afar for five years now. I have been asked a million times if I ever plan to open a brick and mortar shop that would allow customers to come in and shop at any time. The answer is no. I have thought about it, but for the majority of the time, our military lifestyle has made the
decision for me and it was too much of a risk to open a storefront in case we needed to relocate again. Now, my husband has retired from the military and we aren’t sure where life is going to take us. Right now, we are enjoying a normal family life for the first time and spending quality time together is our priority. I am looking forward to continuing to bring a unique shopping experience here locally with my studio as well as always keeping a very active website for my online community of shoppers as well.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Relying strictly on online business is very challenging because there is so much competition, so I have to be very savvy with advertising and marketing. Social media is an integral part of my business strategies.

Thanks for sharing that. So, you could tell us a bit more about your business.
I spend a lot of time researching and curating collections to try to stand apart since there is a lot of competition with online boutiques. I have a growing business and repeat customers because my collections hit a wide range of ages. With some trendy styles, there is a focus on classiness and comfortable. I also prioritize quality and providing a variety of brands that allow me to have a wide range of prices, with affordability being very important to me.

What matters most to you? Why?
Making people feel amazing about themselves. What you put on in the morning can dictate how you feel the rest of the day. If someone comes in not feeling the best about themselves, then it is my goal to help them and make sure they leave feeling their absolute best!

Contact Info:



women's clothing

women's dresses 


Image Credits
Lolly’s Lens Photography Shanae Lim

 View more about this the VoyageRaleigh Magazine here.

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