The Silver Strawberry Owner Michelle McQuillan opened The Silver Strawberry in 2001.[/caption]

After nearly 15 years in business in Tomball, The Silver Strawberry has become more than a typical gift shop. The business has transformed into a resource for students, parents and shoppers looking for unique items for everyday use and special events.

Owner Michelle McQuillan offers a variety of clothing, gifts and accessories in her brightly colored boutique. The Silver Strawberry opened in 2001 and has been located at 30006 Hwy. 249 since 2010.

McQuillan said she grew up in the Tomball area and after working in marketing at Hewlett-Packard for several years, she started her own business selling silver jewelry, which inspired the store’s name.

“After working in the corporate world, putting all of the time and hours in for someone else, I thought I could do that for myself,” McQuillan said. “And I wanted to be able to spend more time with my kids and be more available for them instead.”

The Silver Strawberry has one additional full-time employee, and high school students work part-time at the shop. Each fall, however, McQuillan said she calls in extra help during the shop’s busiest time of year—high school homecoming season.

“We do a lot of homecoming mums, back-to-school and school spirit stuff,” McQuillan said. “We make [the mums] completely from scratch, and we make them to order. [Students] can order just about anything. We have a big display with all kinds of options, and we can customize them with everything from [camouflage] to cheetah [print] to fishing and all kinds of fun ones.”

McQuillan estimates the store sells more than 500 mums each year for schools throughout the area. The store also sells an array of other items, such as glassware, bath items, and gifts for bridal and baby showers, she said.

“We order [products] from all over the United States, but I try to [buy] mainly in Texas,” McQuillan said. “We make some of our products, and we also go to the Dallas market and order from individuals that make things.”

In addition to gifts and clothes, The Silver Strawberry specializes in customizing and personalized items.

“I have moms come in that want to make cute shirts, and instead of having to go to Academy or Hobby Lobby, this is a one-stop shop,” McQuillan said. “We have the product here, we can make them, and the typical turnaround is one to two weeks [or less]. We offer screen printing, T-shirts for youth clubs, teens, organizations, churches, day cares and family reunions. And we also do monograming for shirts, hats and aprons.”

With clothes starting at $12, jewelry starting at $8 and shoes in the $20 to $40 range, McQuillan said she considers the store to be more affordable than traditional boutiques.

“It’s nice because people come in, they need gifts [for several people] and they can find something for everybody, which is neat,” McQuillan said. “We try to do as much as we can. We can come up with anything to help people find what they want.”