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Lizards & Lace

What’s Selling – with Shannon Dunn, owner of Lizards & Lace in Goodlettsville, TN

It’s all in-house custom embroidery at Shannon Dunn’s boutique.

It’s all in-house custom embroidery at Shannon Dunn’s boutique.

“I’m a very organized person,” says Shannon Dunn. Talking at a quick clip with a hint of a Southern twang, you get the sense she’s probably just made the understatement of the year. Dunn, the owner of Lizards & Lace, the eight-and-a-half-year-old children’s shop in Goodlettsville, Tenn., along with its four-year-old sister boutique, Happy Girls, has all the telltale signs of a businesswoman who makes the trains run on time. It was a circuitous path that brought her to children’s retail. Upon moving to Tennessee from Texas, the mom of two started running consignment fundraisers at schools and churches—a very big thing in the South, she says. Fast forward a few years and Dunn was soon leasing out space for pop-up shops. From there, it was a short hop to investing in inventory and coming up with a concept. Lizards & Lace is primarily a girls’ shop with newborn sizes up to 14; she carries boys’ sizes newborn to 12-months. When her clients began to outgrow smaller sizes, Dunn opened shop-in-shop Happy Girls for teens, tweens and womenswear. And she keeps the price points for women, in particular, affordable. “There are always two things that moms and grandmothers will spend money on,” she says. “They will spend money to have their hair done and they’ll spend money on their kids.” The shop’s ability to produce custom pieces and in-house monogram, embroidery and appliqué work—anything from dump trucks to slogans—keeps customers coming back for more, says Dunn. And when three dance studios opened in the neighborhood, she responded by stocking leotards, ballet and tap shoes. “We really try to listen to our customer and accommodate them,” she says. “We’re not afraid to go in a different direction.”

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