Dr. Hill and students
2 Spartanburg businesswomen team up for downtown shop

Lawrence and McWilliams 

Local retailers Nita Lawrence and Lauren McWilliams have merged their businesses
in downtown. PHOTO CREDIT: Trevor Anderson/trevor.anderson@shj.com

By Trevor Anderson
Published: Thursday, August 2, 2012

Two local businesswomen are joining forces to better serve downtown retail customers.

Nita Lawrence, owner of the upscale children's boutique Petit Armoir at 156 E. Main St., has announced that Lauren McWilliams, owner of Pearson's, has relocated her contemporary clothing store from 514 E. Main St.

Lawrence and McWilliams will combine their businesses in the 2,400-square-foot space next to Kosch & Gray jewelers.

"We started out as customers of each other and very quickly became friends," said Lawrence, a native of Dayton, Ohio, who opened her store in 2009. "I knew that (McWilliams) was looking for a space downtown and I had too much space here. We started talking about the possibility of her moving in with me and decided it was a natural fit."

McWilliams, a Wofford College graduate who opened her store across from Bob's Car Wash in 2004, said she believes the merger will make shopping more convenient for customers, primarily mothers with children.

"It was kind of our goal to one-stop-shop," she said. "We're both mothers and we understand how tough it can be to go here and go there to do your shopping. Nita has a great knowledge of the fashion world, and we're able to bounce ideas off of each other. We're just having fun."

The owners said they have added new dressing rooms and given the front of the store a fresh look. They plan to continue making the interior of their space more attractive and will carry on their work of bringing in top designer brands for women and children.

"Lauren is from (Spartanburg)," said Lawrence, whose former job was buying trendy clothing for other companies in highly competitive fashion markets, including New York, Washington, D.C., and Boston. "She knows a ton of people. I'm hoping that we will both be able to increase our customer base. We work very well together."

The stores will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays.

For more information, call 573-6545.