New Mississippi boutique sharing the love, helping city transform downtown shopping experience

Published 6:39 am Saturday, January 27, 2024

One Mississippi city is turning boarded-up windows into a unique shopping experience for local and regional shoppers.

Sweet Baby Loves Boutique, a new store that curates cuteness for children of all ages and their mothers too, is the latest in a long line of happy news for Vicksburg’s downtown economy, Mayor George Flaggs Jr. said Thursday during the shop’s ribbon-cutting.

“I used to drive down Washington Street and five cars on this street and there were boards all over the place,” Flaggs said of downtown Vicksburg’s former state. “And to come back down here to see one business at a time, because of what we’ve done, we’re in business to stay in business in Vicksburg. On behalf of the chamber of commerce, and everybody here, we want to welcome you here. We want to thank you for your investment and say this is one of the most unique places I’ve been in.”

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Sweet Baby Loves owner Kelly Van Zandt said Thursday’s ribbon cutting represented a new chapter for herself and her family.

“Started the business really for kicks and giggles and to clothe littles and little grandkids, and cousins, nieces and nephews and just have fun,” Van Zandt said. “I’ve nursed for 30 years and was just looking for a change. This has just been fun for my girls and I to have something to do together.”

Van Zandt said the boutique will be open Tuesday through Saturday, with hours Thursday through Saturday varying as downtown traffic dictates.

“We’ll be open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays and Thursdays through Saturdays 10 a.m. to 6 or 7, depending on what’s going on downtown.”

Van Zandt said she also hopes to use the new storefront as a way to give back to the community through donations to local causes and charities.

“Shop for a cause is something we are going to do every month,” she said. “We will be taking proceeds and taking 50 percent of our profit and donating to a cause. We have clothing form infant sizes all the way up to women’s adult sizes. Girls and boys. Lots of accessories. Just a little bit of everything. We’d love for you to come shop with us.”

Sweet Baby Loves Boutique is located at 1314 Washington Street.