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Meet Carrie Kelly of Mason-Mayes

Today we’d like to introduce you to Carrie Kelly.

Hi Carrie, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I started my fashion career on the Public Relations team at Neiman Marcus in Tysons. I learned so much not only about fashion and trends, but about selling, merchandising, buying, customer service, branding, styling… the list goes on and on.

When I met my husband, I moved back to my hometown of Baltimore and was struggling to find a place where I felt truly excited about shopping. It was so hard to find a boutique that shared my personal style—and I knew I wasn’t alone. So in 2019, with the help and support of family, friends, and some co-workers from Neiman’s, I started writing my business plan for a women’s apparel and accessories boutique.

In January of 2020, I found the perfect location and signed my lease… and we all know what happened next. But after many sleepless nights and a few tears, I decided to power through and open my store in August 2020. It was a really intense process, but after nearly two years, we’re outperforming every expectation I had for myself.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
It was definitely not a smooth road with COVID interrupting my plans to open in the Spring of 2020! Not only was it difficult to decide if I should still open the store, but I felt so disheartened seeing how the pandemic negatively impacted small businesses and families all over my community.

But in retrospect, I tried to see the silver lining. People were so supportive of shopping locally when we finally did open (though I know some of that was motivated by just wanting to get out of their houses!). In the beginning, we were surprised by the number of times customers said, “This is the first time I’ve been outside in months.”

In a way, it’s truly a testament to how a new outfit can totally change your attitude—and that’s what I love about my store and fashion in general. It’s all about making my customers feel confident, beautiful, and happy.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know?
Mason-Mayes is a women’s clothing & accessories boutique- I like to say there’s something for everyone. We offer a wide breadth of options in terms of prices, styles, and sizes so every woman in our community feels at home. I’ve had young women come into the store with their grandmothers, and they both walk away with something special.

It’s beautiful to see—and I really take pride in merchandising everything to create a story within the store. I like to say it’s the perfect place to visit on a cold and rainy day because it’ll make you forget about everything outside.

Do you have any advice for those looking to network or find a mentor?
My best advice: just ask! I have found that so many small business owners are more than willing to help and offer advice—it’s honestly remarkable. And I’ve personally advised up-and-coming boutique owners starting out in California and Connecticut.

It feels good to connect with people and help other small businesses thrive. I find that, in my store, women are naturally chatting and networking. So I’m lucky to work in an environment where, the more you talk, the more likely you are to come across someone that can help!


  • Everything at Mason-Mayes (for the MOST part) is under $500.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Lauren Daue Photography

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