Austin is now considered a “boom town” and with that growth comes new restaurants, more traffic and new places to shop. One store in Westlake called Abbey Rose is just one new name in the boutique lineup to check out. With brand designer names and some local jewelry brands, this store allows women of all fashion tastes and ages find something unique and on trend.
I love to sit down and enjoy a latte with fashion owners and designers to find out how their business started and learn more about them personally. It’s the fun part of being a reporter, being nosey with a purpose.
While each story is special, meeting Ali Bills was one of those meeting where tears were shed and a connection was made. While the decision to open her store Abbey Rose was years in the making, it was more about whether or not Ali was going to live to see the doors open.
Ali described to me she experienced debilitating migraine headaches since she was a toddler. Her migraines continued through her life and into adulthood, becoming progressively worse. The migraines jeopardized jobs and forced her to miss out on quality time with her family.
“if you call your boss and you can’t come into work for three days, they start thinking you are partying or working another job,” said Bills.
One day when Ali couldn’t turn her neck she begged her physical therapist to adjust her neck and he refused. An MRI scan later revealed her brain was swelling and she needed brain surgery. The surgery a success and her migraines have since disappeared. Now, she is able to focus on her true passion, running a clothing store.
Opening Abbey Rose has been years in the making. After a several years in the corporate world her father encouraged her to pursue her true passion.
“My dad noticed that the fire had gone out of my eyes. I wasn’t having fun so he said I should do something I love,” said Bills. “And I quit my job that day.”
Ali describes her store as a “Mother and Daughter boutique”. She and her mother run the boutique and focus on creating an experience. Clients can enjoy a cocktail and take their time browsing through the curated collection of clothes and accessories.
A majority of the brands in the Abbey Rose inventory are made in the USA and they support local artists. “The store is about supporting the individual and making sure that we not only grown as individuals but also as a community,” said Bills.
Google Business View Tour – shot by Cheryl Bemis Photos: Cheryl Bemis