By Mary Stewart Robins
Carrboro Commons Staff Writer
The store, which first launched in June, hosted its grand opening on Aug. 13, inviting the Carrboro community for drinks and hors d’oeuvres as well as the opportunity to browse the finished boutique.
“We felt very welcomed into the community,” said Jenny Wales, the Modern Fossil store manager. “I think we have a great mix of things for people here in Carrboro.”
Following the store opening, business at Modern Fossil is steadily increasing from word-of-mouth and publicity around the town, according to Wales. “It’s always exciting to have people come in and see what our store is about.”
There doesn’t appear to be a typical shopper at Modern Fossil. From mothers looking for fun gifts for their daughters, to college students looking for bedding and lighting to make their dorm rooms cozier, shoppers of every style and demographic come to the store.
Elizabeth Wilkes, the store owner, said she wanted Modern Fossil to offer clothing and home decor at a variety of price points. “I wanted it to be a store where you have both young and old coming in.”
The store also features a mix of vintage and modern necklaces, rings, bangles and earrings at affordable prices.
Wilkes showcases some of her own personal jewelry collection which she has accumulated over the past 30 years.
Wilkes, whose mother is a jewelry designer, said she grew up interested in costume jewelry. She attends shows and auctions in Atlanta and New York and works with vendors and distributors to find one of a kind pieces for the store.
“I try to find things that are unique and fun. Things that I would like to give,” Wilkes said.
Ann Orsini, shopper and junior journalism and romance language major at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill from Atlanta, described the accessories and clothing at Modern Fossil as eclectic.
“It’s nicer looking than a lot of stuff in Carrboro and more reasonable than a lot of places,” Orsini said.
Modern Fossil employees feel that the store has found a comfortable niche in the Carrboro community.
“I love working with a small business because it’s like a family. I love being able to help people find what they are looking for and in a small business and community you can do that,” Wales said.
The smaller nature of the town will also allow the store to change styles and merchandise specific to community interests and trends, according to Wilkes.
Wilkes hopes to add more local and individual clothing and home decor lines in the future. “The people in the area will guide what we have. It will be changing over time.”