After seeing an absence of local clothing and gift boutique in her hometown, Holly Harris coupled her retail and management skills and opened My Steel Magnolia in Old Town Leander in 2019.

The boutique, which reaches its one-year anniversary July 29, sells clothing with inclusive sizing, a broad gift selection and a cannabidiol product line. Over recent months, the boutique has branched out from its clothing focus to create an all-occasion gift selection. Harris said she wants her shop to be where people look for gifts for birthdays, anniversaries and holidays.

Harris said her goal was to build a boutique with high-quality products at reasonable prices. She said it was important to build a warm, friendly environment for customers to come to again and again. My Sweet Magnolia’s staff is what makes the boutique unique and gives the shop a "good vibe," she said.

“We all pride ourselves on the fact that we have a really, really great base of customers, a good following and customers who really have supported us—and are supporting us now that we're back open,” she said.

The boutique is located on Willis Street in Old Town Leander, which is an area that the city is aiming to grow with more businesses and a city park. Harris is hopeful that the city will put resources into expanding Old Town and drawing people to the area.

“I think that we have a prime opportunity to really make a huge difference for the community if Leander puts in all of the money and the resources to help it grow,” Harris said.

In its first year, Harris said the boutique worked to establish a supportive customer base, but recent months were “devastating” to the boutique’s growth.

As with the rest of the retail industry, the boutique closed its doors for several weeks during the coronavirus pandemic. Store inventory was stocked up in anticipation of the Old Town Festival in May, but the postponed event left the boutique with a surplus of products.

Luckily, customers continued supporting the boutique through the pandemic, Harris said.
“The future is is crazy, but so far—knock on wood—we're still here,” she said.

She hopes the recent push to support small businesses lasts beyond the pandemic.

“We're really leaning on the community to help keep us alive, and so it's a big appreciation for the community, but it can't stop,” Harris said. “We've got to keep doing that for all of our small businesses.”

My Steel Magnolia

106 W. Willis St., Ste. C, Leander


Hours: Tue.-Fri. noon-5 p.m., Sat. 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Sun. 1-6 p.m., closed Mon.