On September 1, Jacksonville’s own Julie Rowe opened a new home goods and clothing boutique downtown called Home Girls. The shop is located at 303 East Court St., on the backside of the Hamilton’s building. Her hours are Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. She also plans to host after hours events twice a month, such as a ladies’ night out, for example.
Ever since she was a young girl, Julie has known that she belonged in the retail world. As a child, her sisters would come home from school to find that she had set up shop in their rooms, and her mother even bought her a cash box filled with fake money and receipts. Since then, Julie has loved her various jobs with corporate retailers such as Gap, Chico’s and Famous Footwear. While it has been a lot of work, and as Julie described it, “thrilling and overwhelming,” she could not be happier to finally be pursuing her passion and opening a store of her own after 26 years in the industry.
Julie would define her shop style as eclectic, and is always keeping her eyes peeled for inspiration wherever she goes. Currently, she is into the restored vintage look of farmhouses as well as mid mod styles, and has incorporated these themes into the items she is selling at Home Girls. Items available for purchase include: home accessories, gallery wall décor, candles, laundry fragrance, body and bath products, and women’s apparel and accessories. Julie is selling items from lines that she knows and loves, but also plans on branching out to find new lines. For example, she has plans to attend a market in Dallas that she hopes will introduce her to new and fun lines that otherwise wouldn’t make their way to Jacksonville. Still, she is also incorporating a local element to Home Girls by selling Serious Lip Balm, which is made by Jacksonville’s Khara Koffel and Megan Luckey. Julie will also be selling items that she has created herself. She has always considered herself a “maker,” and loves making jewelry as well as repurposing items that she stumbles upon at flea markets and antique sales. For example, she has turned an old piece of barn wood into a sign, as well as transformed staircase spindles into candlesticks. With this fusion of the familiar and the new, Julie hopes to have a little something that everyone can enjoy at Home Girls.
Julie’s endeavors have been inspired by the downtown renovation. She has loved seeing how Jacksonville has been rejuvenated by the new square, and wanted to be a part of the excitement. While she is a block off of the square, she still feels connected and especially loves the fact that that her shop is located in the building that was formerly the Central National Life building, as this was where her dad spent the majority of his career in his family business. When Julie’s friend, Brittany Henry, informed her that the space was available, she felt as if all the pieces were finally coming together. Julie felt motivated and excited to do what she loves in a building that will now hold so many old as well as new memories for her.
Julie adores Jacksonville and loves that it is a place where small businesses are encouraged. She hopes that she will have “created a happy place for shoppers to feel free to escape to find something that they can’t live without, or at least something that they think is pretty!” She encourages everyone to feel welcome to pop in and browse or even just stop by to chat. Julie is beyond excited to be following her dreams and couldn’t be happier to share what she is passionate about with Jacksonville.