Magnolia Grace Boutique Opens in Downtown Hamilton Over Family Weekend


Hunter Keller

MAKING MAGNOLIA: Years after working as an assistant for a jewelry company in her hometown, Alicia Sheeley-Golliver opened her dream boutique in downtown Hamilton.

During Colgate’s 2021 Family Weekend, a new store, Magnolia Grace Boutique, opened for the first time on Saturday, Oct. 23 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., in downtown Hamilton at 18 Broad Street. The shop sells a variety of home decorations, women’s clothing and accessories.

As advertised on the store’s Instagram page, the first 25 customer purchases at the store’s opening would receive a free gift. Shop owner Alicia Sheeley-Golliver said she wanted to create a friendly environment for the Hamilton residents and Colgate students that she hopes will visit the new location.

“Customers can expect a warm and welcoming environment […] from a family run business that prides itself on excellent customer service. We want you to feel like you are home,” Sheeley-Golliver said.

The boutique sells products created by other small businesses throughout New York. As a small business owner herself, Sheeley-Golliver wanted to support other businesses like Magnolia Grace Boutique. After working as an assistant for a jewelry company in her hometown, Sheeley-Golliver dreamed of one day owning her own shop. A mother of three, Sheeley-Golliver started participating in local crafts shows in around 2005, but returned to a full-time job shortly after her husband was diagnosed with cancer.

Sheeley-Golliver said she began Magnolia Grace Boutique as an online baby clothing boutique one year ago, which quickly grew while she was still working full time. While at the local farmer’s market over the summer of 2021, she saw an available building in Hamilton and decided to pursue her dream by signing the lease.

“Opening day was exciting, scary and so fulfilling,” Sheeley-Golliver said. “All the hard work my entire family put into the store was worth every minute. So many students, residents and other local businesses were so very welcoming. [I’m] so happy to start becoming a part of this community and get involved as much as possible.”

Sheeley-Golliver doesn’t operate Magnolia Grace alone. Her mother, Joan, and her daughter, Madison, are currently welcoming new customers and helping out behind the counter.

“Running the store with my mom has been so exciting,” Sheeley-Golliver’s daughter, Madison, said. “All the hard work she put into it and time really showed me that if you work hard and stay determined, you can follow your dreams. I’m so proud of her and she is such an inspiration to me.”

First-year student Mary Kate Doyle sees the need for more local stores like Magnolia Grace Boutique in a small town like Hamilton.

“I think the more options there are for people to find clothes they like in town, the better,” Doyle said. “Having more quality clothing stores in Hamilton promotes local businesses, rather than shopping online or searching somewhere else.”

So far, Sheeley-Golliver has seen a positive response from those who have already visited the location on Broad Street.

“Many of the customers commented on how good the shop smelled, how warm and cozy it was, or how inviting it was,” Sheeley-Golliver said. “It was exactly what we wanted to achieve.”

On Sunday, Oct. 24, the day after Magnolia Grace Boutique’s grand opening, Sheeley-Golliver posted a thank-you on the store’s Instagram page.

“We just wanted to take a moment and thank everyone who stopped in for our grand opening today, welcomed us to the community, or wished us congratulations. The overwhelming response from everyone truly brought tears to my eyes as this dream of mine came to a reality today,” Sheeley-Golliver said. “Thank you simply doesn’t cover how much my family and I appreciated each and every one of you for making our first day open such a huge success.”