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Unique Boutique joining downtown revival

Corey and Alicia Clemensand their daughter, Teigen, stand outside the future home of their women’s clothing store, Unique Boutique. The new location at 200 S. 14th Street is set to open in May.

By TRAVIS WEIK - tweik@thecouriertimes.com

Alicia Clemens is so excited about everything happening in downtown New Castle, she wants to be a part of it.

That is why Alicia and her husband, Corey, are moving Unique Boutique to the corner of S. 14th and Race streets in May.

Unique Boutique is a women’s clothing store. Sherry Clemens, Corey’s mom, opened the shop in 2013.

Alicia announced Sunday on Unique’s Facebook page that she and Corey are starting the new journey as store owners. With their new role, the Clemenses are bringing their shop to the heart of New Castle.

“We’re super excited,” Alicia said.

Dave Nantz, who owns the building where Unique Boutique is setting up shop in May, is excited about the new tenants, too.

“Having an established New Castle business deciding to move downtown will show people its OK to do business downtown,” Nantz said. “Hopefully, it will encourage others to open something new or move their business downtown.”

Nantz sees a lot of momentum right now in downtown New Castle.

“You can almost feel a buzz downtown right now,” he said.

Alicia Clemens wants Unique Boutique to be a part of those revitalization efforts for the city.

Nantz also likes that Unique Boutique stays open into the evening.

He said having people downtown after 5 p.m. helps create a “viable and liveable” downtown.

“That’s an important piece to have when you’re looking at quality of life,” Nantz said.

Nantz started renovations on the retail space last week. He said its the first major overhaul for the location since Harmon Hoy started selling jewelry there more than 40 years ago.

Nantz plans to put a new facade on the building and get some new signage.

Other businesses on the S. 14th Street block include a nail salon, bakery, Nantz’s photography store and The Courier-Times office.

The City of New Castle is also making progress on 1400 Plaza – right across the street from the new Unique Boutique location – where the Henry County Farmers Market plans to set up each Saturday morning starting in June.

“It’s a prime location for foot traffic,” Alicia said.

Before making the big announcement Sunday night, Alicia had already been talking with her new neighbors, like Diva Nails and Primo. 

She has also been taking part in the Downtown Merchant Alliance meetings.

“It really got me excited about getting into this,” Alicia said. “Everyone’s really pulling for downtown to come to together. If we can all pull together, work together, I don’t see how downtown couldn’t be a success.”

As well as being new owner of Unique Boutique, Corey Clemens is also a member of the New Castle Fire Department. Corey and Alicia have a daughter, Teigen.

Alicia said Unique Boutique will continue to offer trendy styles at the new location.

She hopes to expand to extended sizes, swimwear and clothes for little girls, as long as she can keep the prices the same for customers.

The inside of the downtown boutique is going to be “very feminine and chic.”

“It’s definitely got my style,” Alicia said.

Alicia and Corey hope to have Unique Boutique up and running downtown in May.

Unique Boutique will continue regular hours at its current location at 501 S. Memorial Drive until the big move.

For more information, call 575-8147 or look for “UniqueClothingNC” on Facebook.