A women’s clothing boutique featuring bohemian and western fashions has been open at Palouse Mall in Moscow for the past month.
Bitchin’ Britches opened Nov. 13 under the ownership of Melinda Wilkes and her husband, Paul.
“I describe our store as a jean store with a couple accessories,” Wilkes said.
She said big chain stores buy clothing items in bulk while Bitchin’ Britches buys in “packs.”
Pointing to a sweatshirt hanging in her store, Wilkes said once it is sold, her boutique will never sell that same type of sweatshirt again.
“The eight people that get their hands on these are the only eight people in town that are going to be wearing them,” Wilkes said.
She said Bitchin’ Britches apparel is for women of all ages and sizes. Wilkes, 61, said she wears her store’s clothes.
“I like to wear cute clothes, too,” she said.
Wilkes lives in Chehalis, Wash., and owns another women’s clothing store called Sparkles-n-Spurs Boutique in Centralia. She said she visits her new Moscow store periodically.
Wilkes said she thought about opening in Coeur d’Alene but felt the boutique market was too saturated there.
She said she toured Moscow and Palouse Mall officials were extremely excited to have Wilkes’ store. Target is also expected to open at the mall eventually, which Wilkes said would help increase foot traffic at her roughly 3,000-square-foot business.
“We just liked the vibe of the town,” Wilkes said.
Wilkes said Lori Williams, general manager of Sparkle-n-Spurs Boutique and Bitchin’ Britches, and Williams’ mother started Sparkles-n-Spurs Boutique 12 years ago. Williams’ mother sold the Centralia store to Wilkes two years ago.Williams and Wilkes then decided to start a mobile boutique. Wilkes’ husband thought of the name Bitchin’ Britches.
Williams and Wilkes transformed a 1957 Corvette and called it Bitchin’ Britches. They started taking it to fairs, rodeos, garlic festivals and the like in April 2019. The two women sold jeans from the vehicle.
“It just took off,” Williams said.
Williams said Bitchin’ Britches was invited to shows after selling at its first event.
“We didn’t have to look for (the events),” Wilkes said. “They just fell in our laps.”
Then the COVID-19 pandemic hit and put a pause on the mobile boutique.
Wilkes said the mobile boutique is parked in her Chehalis front yard but she and Williams plan to drive it around to events again to sell clothes once COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.
Wilkes said she loves working with customers.
“I make friends,” Wilkes said. “Our clientele in Centralia — they’re friends when they walk through the door and I get to dress them.”
Bitchin’ Britches store hours are 11-6 Tuesday through Saturday and 11-5 Sunday.
Garrett Cabeza can be reached at (208) 883-4631, or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.