Sprouting up in the storefront beside Harvest Records on West Asheville’s Haywood Road is Custom: Hers and Home Boutique, an independently owned business started by sisters Michelle and Tammy Goñi. Custom, which opened in May, seems to fit the fabric of the surrounding area: A 20-something to 30-ish clientele with discriminating taste in clothing and music already frequents the nearby bars The Admiral and The Rocket Club, not to mention the audiophiles who ferret out the latest releases at the nearby record store. There’s a sculpture garden half a block away, dressmaker Brooke Priddy across the street and a regular string of pedestrians out and about.
A find for women on a quest for hip, designer clothing, locally produced makeup and lingerie or affordable handmade housewares, Custom has more on the agenda than commerce: The business also focuses on aiding women in need.
The Goñi sisters grew up in Mexico City, and their lasting ties have made it relatively easy to set up partnerships with Mexican artisans (all the ceramics and carved-wood furniture sold at Custom, for example, are made by an artist friend who still lives there). Soon, the store will carry a set of aprons and linens made by Mexican women living in a shelter called DAYA, which helps displaced teen moms develop the skills they need to earn a living. All of the proceeds from the linens will go back to DAYA, supporting women who are poverty-stricken and, in many cases, very young. “I met a 12-year-old girl who had a 9-month-old baby,” Tammy remembers of one of her visits there.
In the next few weeks, Custom will host a clothing swap: For a small fee, women can come to the shop, drop off clothes that no longer suit them and dig for new things. All the money raised, plus any leftover apparel, will go to a local women’s shelter. “We’re hoping to have charitable events on a regular basis,” Michelle says, adding that a few of the surrounding businesses may sponsor larger events, too.
But first, a celebration of the new store is in order. Custom will hold a grand opening on Sunday, June 22, at 7 p.m., featuring catered food, drinks, and a DJ.
Custom, located at 415A Haywood Road, is open Sunday and Monday from noon to 6 p.m., and Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Call the store at 257-4007.