Meredith Welch has been interested in fashion since she was a child.
From age 7 to 13, she modeled in fashion shows and for magazines while living in Japan on a military base. She knew it was a passion then but didn’t know how she would channel it into a career one day.
Living in Japan for six years and Germany for two years while growing up let the 27-year-old experience different cultures and people, which inspired her to like a wider range of fashion styles, she said.
After following her parents to East Texas in 2011, she studied history and prelaw at The University of Texas at Tyler, thinking she would one day go to law school after she graduated last year.
But after continually seeing boutiques around town and online, she decided that was what she wanted to do.
“I didn’t know what I was doing, but I did my research and jumped in,” she said.
She started Closet Bliss in September, selling clothing through auctions on Facebook. She began buying more inventory and in January added a website, where customers could shop anytime.
Although her online company ships all over the country, including Los Angeles, Michigan, West Virginia, New York and Wyoming, Mrs. Welch said she wanted to focus on the local market.
When the small space on Old Bullard Road, sandwiched between Life with Pets and Alex & Afton, became available, she felt it was the “perfect starting point” for Closet Bliss, she said. “I wanted a smaller space with a boutique feel.”
She said that being in between the other two stores in one big building has helped grow her business.
“We all kind of work together … because all of our stores are so different, it’s really a good marriage between all of our stores,” she said.
Mrs. Welch strives to offer different styles of clothing, from bright, Moroccan patterned palazzo pants to more classic tops in smoother fabrics.
In her closet at home, she has everything from skater and preppy outfits to cutoff jeans and sweatshirts. She said she tries to pick things she would wear for her store and sell them at prices she would pay.
She said Tyler is growing and is a kind of central hub for shoppers coming from smaller towns, especially people in their 20s and 30s, and she thought it was the perfect place to open her business. She said Facebook and Instagram have been huge in growing her store, which she opened May 1.
“Seeing the client satisfied when they try something on is a great feeling,” Mrs. Welch said.
If a customer is looking for something specific, she can find it, even if she doesn’t have it in the store.
She has some clients come in for her help in picking out a special outfit for an event. And she is even styling a friend for her wedding in Dallas.
“That’s a lot of fun for me,” she said of styling people. “It’s a challenge.”
Mrs. Welch is constantly looking for new merchandise at market in Dallas, which she intends to go to in August for fall clothing, and from designers and wholesalers in California.
“I want people to feel like they’re walking into a closet … and they get to fill their closet with great stuff,” she said of her store.
She said she plans to start selling shoes in the fall and she offers a limited number of all clothing so not everyone has it.
“The constant change of inventory keeps people coming back and excited,” she said.
IF YOU GO
Closet Bliss: 5304 Old Bullard Road
Hours: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday
Contact: 817-880-4154;www.shopclosetbliss.com ; Facebook or Instagram