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Ava Grace Fashions: New Location!

A Growing Business Fills a Larger Storefront in the Center of the Village

Just a few weeks ago, Ava Grace Fashions celebrated the grand re-opening of its store as it moved from 10 Washington Street to 24 Washington Street. “We’re just excited to be in the new space, have things spread out more, make it easier for people to shop and make it easier for us to help people find what they're looking for,” said owner Jessica Maynard-Gilbert. “It worked out so perfectly because with the timing of the move, the first day I was open in the new space was my birthday, October 24!”

Although the location is new, Ava Grace Fashions is not new to Ellicottville. The business actually began three years ago as an online store out of Maynard-Gilbert’s attic! An Ellicottville resident, Maynard-Gilbert has a strong background in sales and marketing, and began with makeup and jewelry. “There was a business in Ellicottville that wasn't really looking to leave but heard what I was doing and offered me her space,” Maynard-Gilbert explained. “She had some health issues and was able to close, so I was able to take over her space and finish out her lease. We stayed in that space for three years.”

Maynard-Gilbert filled that space with fashionable clothing, jewelry, decorative items, slippers, hats, sunglasses and other accessories.

“Then I learned about this new opportunity because Earth Arts was retiring after 41 years,” she said of the new location. “I just inquired about the space, and it worked out well. I knew it would be a good move for us because it's a better space with bigger windows and more visibility.”

The busy mom can definitely relate to women who may feel somewhat less than confident when it comes to fashion and trying a new look. “I was never that super-stylish, fashionista girl,” Maynard-Gilbert laughed. “That's why I can relate to women who just kind of have a hard time feeling confident putting together that outfit.”

To that end, Maynard-Gilbert said, “Ava Grace is all about helping women build some confidence and feel really good about themselves. We do that through having comfortable, affordable clothing and having a really easy way to put together a look.” She and her employees share the “1, 2, 3” style guide to help customers get started.

Number one begins with basic pieces in neutral colors. Next, number two adds the fashionable element with popular patterns for the current season. “Right now, plaids and camouflage are really popular,” Maynard-Gilbert said. Number three completes the outfit with details, such as jewelry or a scarf. “We love it when someone comes in and lets us help them come up with a few new outfits. It's a lot of fun!” said Maynard-Gilbert.

Those who are looking for the perfect holiday gift will be sure to find it at Ava Grace – and Maynard-Gilbert also has the perfect solution to let her customers’ loved ones know exactly what is on their list.

Customers can create their own wish list, on which they indicate the items they’d like to receive and include the name(s) and contact information for prospective shoppers.  Those who stop in to create a wish list will receive 10% off an item that day. Maynard-Gilbert will contact the listed shoppers; those who makes a purchase from the list will receive free shipping, either to the shopper’s address or to the recipient’s address.

Maynard-Gilbert is gearing up for a busy holiday season, and her store’s hours have expanded to accommodate the hustle and bustle. Ava Grace is open from 11am-6pm during the week (closed Tuesdays),  11am-8pm on Fridays and Saturdays, and 11am-5pm on Sundays. She is excited to offer several great gift options for under $25 including wall art plaques, mugs and wine glasses with fun sayings, and the ever-popular blanket scarves. Of course, Ava Grace Fashions is always open online at avagracefashions.com, where customers can shop 24/7. Follow Ava Grace Fashions on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for news and new arrivals.

“I learned really early on that you can take a situation where maybe someone isn't too into beauty or fashion and show them one or two things that they can do, and all of a sudden, this glow comes about them and that confidence and beauty shine through,” Maynard-Gilbert reflected. “I mean, it's really very selfishly fun for me to do that for and with women. It's a good thing. It's a lot of fun!”