Photo by Brittney Harrison.
Linda and Hayden Carter opened Hayden Boutique in 2011.
Price tags and accessories have replaced menus and utensils in Crestline Village. The former Golden Rule BBQ has transformed into Hayden Boutique last year.
The store carries trendy tops and jeans coupled with endless accessories, from scarves and headbands to watches and jewelry. They also periodically offer classy cocktail dresses and college spirited apparel. Popular brands at Hayden include Theme, Jenny Hann, My Tribe, James and Joy, Yoana Baraschi and Tracy Reese.
Since leasing the location in May 2011, owners Hayden and Linda Carter have hit the ground running.
“Entrepreneurial skills are in our genes,” Hayden said referring to her parents’ 26-year electrical business endeavor and her brother’s success in running his own personal training business.
Turning a barbecue-smoked space into a boutique was quite an experience for Hayden and her mother.
“It was truly a labor of love,” Hayden said.
The doors of Hayden have been opened to the public since October, but the idea of opening a trendy boutique was first a decade-long discussion between the mother-daughter duo.
Born and raised in Vestavia, Hayden completed nursing school at UAB in 1997. She was a nurse in a private practice for a few years before giving birth to her daughter, Emma, in 2003. After Emma’s birth, Hayden went into medical sales and traveled all over the state of Alabama.
For years the Carter women kept their eyes open for a place to lease but it wasn’t until recently that “life seemed to slow down,” said Hayden. And just as it did, they spotted a suitable and affordable space. It was at 81 Church Street that Hayden and Linda Carter’s vision became a reality.
When asked about how family ties into the store both Hayden and her mother shared a smirk and genuinely admitted, “We’re a typical family and families fight, but we get over it.”
But Hayden also expresses how wonderful it has been to have her mother with her especially when traveling to various markets in New York, Atlanta and Las Vegas to purchase items for the store. “It’s always good to have a second opinion,” Hayden said.
Although still too young to travel with her mother and grandmother, Emma, now 9, still plays a part in Hayden’s Tween collection located upstairs. Marketing to ages 7-14, the Tween section showcases brands such as 3 Pommes and Miss Me.
From 8 year olds to 80 year olds, Hayden Carter has dressed them all. Paying close attention to what her customers wear and listening to what they want, she constantly strives to fill her store with the styles and tastes of her clientele. It’s all about learning how to read people.
“We want people to feel comfortable and play dress up,” she said.
As the year continues to unfold, be on the lookout for Hayden’s special events for Spring Break, Easter and college sorority rush. Find their latest updates on their Facebook page.