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Local business that reopened after Christmas bombing now fighting inflation

Nashville's Best Boutique sign
Posted at 4:50 PM, Jun 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-08 19:13:36-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The owners of a downtown boutique that was destroyed in the Christmas day bombing in 2020 have a new problem: inflation.

Rising costs are a problem for business owners across Tennessee right now. But the shipping and other costs mean Nashville's Best Boutique has to make some difficult decisions about its products.

The boutique is known for its price point: $10. Co-owner Sandy Lee said about 75% of the items in the store are at or below that price.

The former business sat on 2nd Avenue North, directly across from where the Christmas day bombing happened downtown.

They've since reopened at Marathon Music Works and have tried to stay true to the previous store's legacy.

Lee said that's difficult right now.

"The gas increase has put a tremendous upcharge on everything coming in our door," said Lee. "That's passed on to us. That's going to bump some of the categories out of the $10 range that we can't sell anymore."

Lee actually owned two stores downtown. With insurance money from the destruction, she and her business co-owners were able to consolidate both. It still hurts to think about, but not nearly as much as it did.

"I don't have a negative response to it anymore," said Lee. "Jeff and I walked by for the first time in front of the store on Second Avenue about a month ago. It was kind of interesting to witness the tourists walking by and looking into that big hole where the buildings are down and still seeing our storefront. The columns are still standing."

She said popular items like hats and t-shirts are what they sell most at the $10 price point. However, shipping costs have increased to 70 cents per hat, and t-shirts are more difficult to find in the usual colors due to supply issues. She's hoping gas prices drop soon.

Still, she said she's seeing more locals in the store and business isn't so bad considering the move from downtown.