Jessica Smith has long dreamed of opening a retail store in Grand Rapids. “I have dreamed of opening a women’s boutique for twenty years, but the timing just wasn’t ever right,” the former Global Infusion manager said.
Smith said partly the issue of timing had to do with being a mother of three. But now that her youngest is 12, she felt like the time had come to follow her passion and open Ada Mae.
“It felt like I could put enough energy and time to get this shop going,” she said.
The shop is part of the new Fulton Square mixed-use development by Orion Construction, at 1 Carlton Ave. It opened on Dec. 1.
Ada Mae sits on the ground floor of the building with plenty of display windows and natural light flowing into the store. It also has on-site parking to make it easy for shoppers to stop in.
With her dream long ruminating in her mind, Smith has been keeping a list of the clothing lines she loves in other cities for just this moment.
“I have always wished for some of the clothing lines that I see in other larger cities, to be in Grand Rapids. So, I have been keeping a mental list of all of the lines that I would bring to town including now years later I have.”
Ada Mae provides “quality handmade clothing and accessories” and supports designers from the United States and Europe, with an emphasis on small independent lines.
Smith highlighted a few of the product lines carried at Ada Mae.
“I have a line, Prairie Underground, that is a line designed and sewn in Seattle, Washington. They use organic fabrics and have a beautiful lasting fit. Cynthia Ashby is another line I carry. Their clothing is timeless but edgy. You feel fabulous and look fabulous in her designs. Her studio is in Chicago.”
Smith is a resident of the Fulton Heights neighborhood, which is why she selected the neighborhood for her shop.
“I love that I can live, work, eat out, shop and bring my kids to school all within a couple of miles,” she said. “Supporting local shops and restaurants is very important to me, so it only made sense to find a place close to home and I love my location.”
Smith said December is the perfect time to stop in and check out the new store. “We’re in the midst of the holiday season and we have wonderful gifts for the women in your life. Many of our brands are exclusive to Grand Rapids so you’re bound to find something you can only get by shopping here.”
*Photos courtesy of Ada Mae