GALVESTON – Carol Shoaff, owner of My O My Boutique, wants her shop to be welcoming.
Customers will find it filled with the pleasant smells of handmade soaps, wax melts, potpourri and beard and mustache oils.
It’s more than just a personal care shop, though.
The store at 205 S. California St. will also carry items from local artists and artisans, such as scarves, jewelry, paper mache creations and paintings.
“Hopefully, this will be a place where people like to come, look around and relax,” Shoaff said. They can bring in a cup of coffee while doing something like making a necklace from the selection of beads she has.
“A comfortable environment, that’s what I’m striving for,” she said. “It’s small, but I want a good variety, something that’ll be interesting. Something that’ll be fun.”
As part of today’s grand opening, Shoaff will have discounts, door prizes and refreshments.
Before getting into business, she was an art teacher for 27 years. The boutique with so many artistic items wasn’t her original intention, though.
When she was looking at the former barbershop, she planned just to sell her handmade oils for thinning hair and dry skin and her oils and balms for mustaches and beards. Her father and brother used to patronize the barbershop that was where My O My is now, so it came full circle, she said.
However, women she talked to and who helped decorate the place up suggested she expand to include local artisans’ handmade works and had suggestions on who would work well.
Her own items are handmade, too. Shoaff formulates all her oil and balm products and first got into it a few years ago when her hair began to thin. She didn’t want to use chemicals in her hair or use a hair replacement, she looked online and found her oils and formulations.
Shoaff decided to try them for three weeks. She didn’t notice a difference in those weeks, but her hairdresser told her that her hair was thicker.
“I really, really like what it did for my hair,” she said. The product won’t grow new hair, especially in bald men who’ve lost the follicles. “It nourishes the follicles and roots,” she said.
The oils come from Spain, India and Africa, and she puts no preservatives or chemicals in them. “All my oils are natural,” she said.
When Shoaff sells oil to a customer, she’ll offer a free month of consultations and may tweak the oils for them to make the oils more effective for that person.
If someone buys a bottle, but it doesn’t work despite consultations and care, the customer can return it for refund.
This isn’t the first time that Shoaff has been in business, although it is her first time in retail.
She’s had a dairy farm before. “Still love cows,” she said.
She plans to have an internet store online as part of My O My, too. It will soon have both a website and a Facebook page.
However, she wants to concentrate on the store for at least a month before creating that.
Shoaff is also looking for more artists for My O My. “(We’re) open for anyone who has anything,” she said. The consignment fee is 10 percent.
As the holidays approach, people will find a variety of items not available in chain stores.
“They’ll find something a little bit different, if even for stocking stuffers,” she said.