BAY MINETTE – Southern Gyp Boutique in Bay Minette, owned by Crystal Peavy, is the 2021 Alabama Retailer of the Year Customers’ Choice Award winner. The Alabama Retail Association presented Peavy and her team with their award today.
Among 49 Alabama Retailer of the Year entries, Southern Gyp Boutique received the most votes in a contest that ran from Aug. 9 to Aug. 23 on the Alabama Retail Association’s website and Facebook. The boutique received 1,295 votes, or 12.4% of the 10,413 votes cast. In the contest, customers praised Southern Gyp for its “great service” and “wonderful people.” One customer said that Southern Gyp Boutique is a “great local store” that “always has such stylish items.”
“The contest created great engagement and interaction with our customers,” said Peavy upon learning of the store’s win. “We are ecstatic. It is a great honor!”
Southern Gyp Boutique opened in 2017 and offers a large selection of clothing from size small to 3X as well as shoes, jewelry, home décor, bath products, candles, stationery and more. Peavy makes an effort to purchase many of the products sold in her store from local individuals and actively seeks out ways to promote other local businesses in her community.
Each year, Peavy creates swag bags for Southern Gyp’s annual Pre-Black Friday sale using items from other local businesses. “We take pride in supporting other local businesses by allowing them to donate to our swag bags and then promoting their business on several different platforms,” Peavy said. “This cross-promotion creates a strong ‘shop local’ campaign within our community.”
Aside from supporting local businesses, Peavy uses her store to give back to the Bay Minette community. Southern Gyp is known for donating items to silent auctions and benefits, sponsoring community groups and organizing fundraisers for families in need.
“Crystal is an advocate for our community, promotes her fellow local businesses and might be the #1 cheerleader among local business owners for the North Baldwin Chamber of Commerce,” said Ashley Davis, former executive director of North Baldwin Chamber of Commerce, who nominated Peavy as a Retailer of the Year.
The store’s social media presence and ability to adapt paved the way for a year of growth for Southern Gyp Boutique despite all of the challenges of 2020. The store is active on Instagram and Facebook and used TikTok as a new way to engage its customers when the pandemic changed how Peavy and her team interacted with the community. In previous years, 80% of Southern Gyp’s sales came from the storefront. Southern Gyp’s already strong online presence allowed Peavy to quickly shift her focus to online sales, and Southern Gyp’s sales ultimately increased in 2020.
“Crystal Peavy is a retailer of the year EVERY year to the Southern Gyp Boutique’s customers, her two employees and the Bay Minette community,” said Alabama Retail Association President Rick Brown.
Originally posted 8:36 a.m. Aug. 25, 2021
The Alabama Retail Association represents retailers, the largest private employer in the state of Alabama, before the Alabama Legislature and the U.S. Congress. Through sales of food, clothing, furniture, medicine and more, our 4,300 independent merchant and national company members touch almost every aspect of daily living. Since 1943, we’ve worked to promote what’s best for the retail industry in Alabama. Whether voicing the retail view when public policy is made, educating members about issues that impact them, negotiating rates for benefits and services or communicating the retail story, the Alabama Retail Association and its members are better together.