COVINGTON, Ga. - Opening Maddie Mae, a children’s boutique in downtown Covington, is about more than business for owners Melissa Kitchens and Amber Foster. The duo said making a purposeful family-friend store in the city they call home was something they saw as a need.
“Melissa and I are super passionate about families,” Foster said. “Not lying, seriously, we’ve talked about it for years and one day I called her and said ‘Lets open up a store called Maddie Mae,’ but the reason really is because we’re really passionate about families.
“Yes this is a business, but it’s really not. It’s really about so much more.”
Maddie Mae will focus on the three values of “love, live and give.” With their love for family and the passion they have to bring people together, Kitchens and Foster have come up with a unique way to give back to the community each month.
Through a charm bracelet system, each month the boutique will offer a new charm to grow a charm bracelet. The proceeds of each charm will go to a selected local charity.
Neither Kitchens nor Foster have experience in the retail industry, but both of them saw a void in the current retail options of Covington for children and families so they figured it out together.
“I’m not quitting my day job,” Foster said, who currently works as a nurse practitioner.
“It’s more than a business to us, it truly is. We’re passionate about it, but the business part is not it because we have no idea what we’re doing. It truly is because we love people and we love families,” she said.
Maddie Mae not only offers a retail experience, but it also includes a rentable party space with several available themes.
Foster said she and Kitchens noticed there were not a lot of options locally for rentable party spaces.
The name for the store was chosen because it is a combination of Kitchens and Fosters’ daughters’ middle names.
“It’s our girls’ middle names because we have boys too but we couldn’t put all their names,” Foster said. “Between us we have six kids so there’s no way to put them all.”
Foster said Covington is a close-knit community and the southern charm will help the store grow.
“One of the things about small communities that’s so cool – and I grew up in a small town – is that you kind of have each other’s backs,” she said. “You support each other and I feel like that will really be what this success is.
Maddie Mae will celebrate its grand opening today, Saturday, July 1.
Address: 1140 Church St., Covington, GA 30014
Hours of operation: Monday – Saturday: 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.; Party space available for rent Friday night, all day Saturday and Sunday. Bookings during the week are also available upon request.