By Randy Arrington
LURAY, May 6 — One year after bringing her women’s clothing boutique to Luray, Emily Dennis is now expanding Henhouse Shoppe and moving to Main Street.
“I think that foot traffic for a retail space is ‘make or break’ and getting ourselves in front of more people is a priority as a business,” Dennis said.
On Friday, local officials gathered at 12 East Main to congratulate the Elkton entrepreneur on her success and cut the ribbon on her new, larger space.
“She was looking for more space now to expand,” Gina Hilliard, president of the Luray-Page County Chamber of Commerce, said just before the ribbon cutting. “This space will allow her to continue to grow and it fits in well with other things on Main Street.”
The boutique’s available space has grown three-fold, and they’ve added a lot of stock — almost doubling their overall inventory. From sunglasses to shoes, and handbags to hats, Henhouse Shoppe has a wide range of women’s apparel and all the accessories to go with it.
“Anything that women need…clothing wise…we try to cater to that,” Dennis said. “Our goal is to empower women to feel confident in their clothes.”
Starting the business from her Elkton home in 2018, Dennis grew into a shop in her hometown in 2019, and then expanded by opening a second location in Luray in April 2021. She credits the continued growth of Henhouse Shoppe to “building a community of women” around her business.
“We’re so happy to see our businesses expanding and staying in the town,” Vice Mayor Jerry Schiro said during Friday’s ribbon cutting. “I hope it’s an indication of the future of the town and where we’re headed.”
The women’s clothing and accessory store moved its Luray location from 11 Campbell Street (behind Dominos) to 12 East Main Street (adjacent to Nest and Hive). Dennis said the building was pretty much turn-key ready, but her husband Joe helped with some painting and installing new racks and shelves.
“This is a blessing,” said Jackie Elliott, program director for the Luray Downtown Initiative. “This shop is amazing, and it’s such a compliment to Main Street.”
Dennis’ daughter, Briana, manages the Luray store, while Emily keeps things going in Elkton.
The Elkton resident told the Luray officials and supporters gathered at her Main Street shop on Friday that she became attracted to Luray after visiting and seeing progress in the downtown area.
“It’s been good,” Emily Dennis said of the past year in Luray and the current move to Main Street. “It’s getting us a better reach…We already had some customers here, and we liked the downtown area and decided to come here and grow with you guys.”
Henhouse Shoppe is located at 12 East Main Street in Downtown Luray and is open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays.
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HERE’S WHAT’S BEEN HAPPENING IN DOWNTOWN LURAY OVER THE PAST YEAR: