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Staff photo by Sabrina Bodon / That's So Mimi boutique owner Kim "Mimi" Carlock organizes sweaters ahead of the holidays. Carlock opened Mimi's as a virtual store in 2017 and expanded into her physical location this year.

Kim "Mimi" Carlock always had the dream to open a small crafts shop with her sister, Kristin "Sissy" Van Meter. They pictured selling homemade soaps, candles and whatever else they could DIY.

Even following Van Meter's brain cancer diagnosis, the two monogrammed shirts together.

Van Meter died in June 2017, but Carlock kept crafting. That Christmas, she posted pictures of some of her homemade ornaments on her Facebook page; not to sell, just to illustrate her hobby.

People around the country started ordering the ornaments, and her husband, Brian, encouraged Carlock to continue with her dream of owning a business.

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Staff photo by Sabrina Bodon / That's So Mimi boutique is located at 118 LaFayette Square. The shop is open Tuesday and Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday from 1-4 p.m.

She opened up a virtual store selling blouses, pants, outerwear, accessories, jewelry and custom shirts. While working out of two bedrooms in her house, Carlock began looking for a storefront.

In March, she opened That's So Mimi in LaFayette Square.

"I can't work in my pajamas anymore," Carlock said with a laugh.

That's So Mimi is filled with the latest trends in women's clothing ranging in sizes small to 3X. Carlock said she aims to make being stylish and on-trend affordable.

She extends this philosophy to the back of her shop, which has transformed into Mimi's Wear and Share Kid's Consignment Boutique. Customers can bring in children's clothes and the store will sell them for a small portion of the proceeds.

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Staff photo by Sabrina Bodon / Kim "Mimi" Carlock, pictured, owner of That's So Mimi in LaFayette, always dreamed of owning a craft store with her sister, Kristin Van Meter, who died in 2017.

In January, the boutique will begin the work to expand into the now-closed LaFayette Nail Salon next door, doubling the store's size by this spring.

Still, Carlock isn't neglecting her online customers. She continues to sell goods via her website, Facebook and mobile phone app and has created a network of locations where customers can pick up online orders in Chickamauga, Fort Oglethorpe, LaFayette, Ringgold, Rome and Hixson, Tennessee.

As customers walked into her brick-and-mortar location just before Thanksgiving, Carlock greeted them cheerily, most by name. Over the 12 years she's lived in LaFayette, she's gotten to know residents through her work at the Catoosa County Chamber of Commerce, being in the Parent Teacher Organization at her son's school and helping in the Walker County Women's Club. Each month, she tries to find a new organization or group to donate toward, she added. This holiday season, Mimi's sponsored a house in the annual Kids 4 Christ Whoville park and the city's Reindeer Run.

Email Sabrina Bodon at sbodon@timesfreepress.com.

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Staff photo by Sabrina Bodon / A winter holiday setup in That's So Mimi boutique features matching hat and glove sets.

 

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