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 In Features
Two women in store

Crystal and April show off their fabulous taste in their Southern Pines boutique.

In 2008, Crystal Eads-Brown was walking in Downtown Southern Pines when she saw a “For Rent” sign in a window in a building on Broadstreet. She knew she wanted to own her own business downtown with her mom, April, but she didn’t know exactly what she wanted to do. Within 30 days of signing the lease, Marie & Marcele was born.

Together, Crystal (Marie) and April (Marcele – that’s their middle names) have owned and operated the clothing store which they describe as a place where fashion meets family. Crystal does all the buying for the shop and works in the store 7 days a week, while April, an accountant with 40 years of experience, handles the purchase orders and the budget.

“We’re best friends,” Crystal says of April. “Even when we fight, which is rare, we apologize. She is the person I trust the most and I’m closest to. When we work together, our business does the best.”

And when Crystal isn’t in the shop, you can often find her 82-year-old grandmother, Jackie, giving her honest opinion to the customers who shop at the store (Crystal says she can “sell ice to an eskimo”).

To shop at Marie & Marcele is to shop with a purpose — in the store you’ll find brands that make an impact and give back to other people in need.

This outlook follows them to their #girlboss philosophy of supporting other businesses and embracing the competition without dulling their shine. “Be challenged by your competitors, support others, and help them grow in their own way,” Crystal says. “We want others to shine with us,” April adds.

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Women business owners in Southern Pines