Local women’s boutique and formal wear store owner Brenda Nixon said she was 21 years old when she and her husband, then fiancé Ed Nixon, opened their first store, Jeans for Guys and Gals, in August of 1977.
Located at 5061 Dogwood Drive, Milton, Florida, Nixon’s is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. During prom season months: Jan, Feb, March, April, May, the store’s Saturday hours are extended to 5:30 p.m. Visit their website at http://www.nixonsclothing.com/index.php and Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/nixonsclothing/
“We’ve come a long way,” she said. “I was very young. Jeans were huge back then. We carried all of the name brand jeans, Levis, Calvin Klein, Gloria Vanderbilt. It’s changed a lot since those days. Now, it’s all about technology.”
Nixon said she decided to drop the jeans and become a women’s boutique after 12 years or so. She changed the name of the business to simply, Nixon’s. Later, when her daughter Whitney was a sophomore at Milton High School she suggested (to her mom) about carrying formal wear for prom. It was a hit and she found the niche to carry her forward during a changing time.
“We don’t carry any dress from a department store. We are known more now for our formal wear for all occasions, including prom, military ball, Mardi Gras, homecoming, bridesmaids, mother of the bride,” she said.
“We sell to people from all over; our customers come from Texas, Mississippi, Alabama and Ohio. I’ve learned girls will travel to get the dresses they want for their special night. They want unique dresses that make a statement. Some come to the store while on spring break or their summer vacation.”
The front of the store is the women’s boutique. She has the same idea with clothing and accessories as she does with her formal wear. Giving knowledgeable advice and personal assistance, she carries unique items customers will not find at the mall. Because of this, she has loyal clientele, some who came into her original store, Jeans for Guys and Gals.
“We’ve grown old together. Some of the same ladies are still on my preferred customer list. I know what they like and when a new shipment comes in I call them. A lot has changed throughout the years. Technology helps get the word out. Social media has changed everything,” she said.
Nixon’s daughter Whitney lives in the Netherlands but is still able to contribute to her mother’s business with marketing and helping with her social media accounts, Instagram and Facebook. “She’s 5,000 miles away but she gets customers in the store,” she said, “Whitney is a tremendous help.”
Nixon is originally from Jay, Florida and is happy she and Ed kept the business growing for 39 years. “Ed has always been in banking. When we met and got engaged, his plan was to stay in Jay only for a couple of years. But things changed, we opened our store and it’s good. We love our location. We love Milton. I’m glad we did this. I’m happy we stayed.”
Posted in Business Spotlight