The journey of opening a unique women’s clothing store for Christina Mitchell started with a nail spa. Mitchell, who now owns Abejas Boutique in Houston, said she started off running a spa called Manos Y Mas on the corner of Westheimer Road and Ferndale Street.
Mitchell said she was intrigued by the world of retail, so she casually and loosely set up a rack of clothing in the nail spa.
“It was very successful, so I ended up leasing the space next door to Manos Y Mas and badda-bing, badda-boom,” Mitchell said.
After first opening Abejas—the Spanish word for “bee”—on Westheimer in 1996, Mitchell later brought the store to its location on South Boulevard in 2016.
“We doubled the size of Abejas,” Mitchell said about the latest move. “We also got this really cool midcentury building.”
The store offers a wide selection of clothing, shoes, accessories, hats and jewelry. Mitchell said she keeps the selection fresh by switching out the clothes in stock every week. The criteria for what gets sold, however, all comes from Mitchell and her personal selections.
“I typically buy what I love,” Mitchell said. “Over the years, I’ve developed a following that has a similar aesthetic, a similar taste.”
Mitchell said she loves the unexpected when it comes to fashion. More distinctive items in the store include Native American jewelry and accessories such as concho belts, shell bolos and squash blossom necklaces, all of which can add flair to an outfit, Mitchell said.
Mitchell said she also goes to places such as San Miguel, Santa Fe and Oaxaca, Mexico, to support local artisans and buy items such as old textiles and Huipil de Guerrero dresses that go into the store’s offerings.
Through it all, Mitchell said it has been her mission to provide a great experience for her clients.
“We are a small family,” she said. “We know every single client that walks through that front door, their names, their kids’ names. ... It’s that special one-of-a-kind service that sets us apart.” Abejas Boutique
2517 South Blvd., Houston
Hours: Tue.-Sat. 10 a.m.-5 p.m., closed Sun.-Mon.