You can say business is blooming this morning at The Watering Can Too.

The new boutique store opens for the first time at 10 a.m. today when Foothills Mall opens for customers.

Don’t be misled by the name. This is no garden supply store, but it does have roots in the flower business. It’s an offshoot of The Watering Can that co-owners Bobby Phillips and Chad Faulkner opened as a florist shop April 15, 2017, in Seymour.

It starting out selling flowers and grew from there. It still sells flowers, along with gifts and apparel, and is managed by Faulkner. Phillips manages the Maryville store.

Like a spin-off of a TV show, The Watering Can Too is adapting elements of the original, but leaving the rest of the cast behind.

“We started adding stuff, so we kind of have a hodgepodge of a store in Seymour,” Phillips said. “When we came looking to expand we decided we wanted to focus on the boutique side of things.”

That’s the plan now, but that’s not exactly how the original store evolved. That was less about plan, more about demand.

Phillips said customers at the Seymour store would ask, “Can you do this? Can you get this?” It was like decorating with flowers evolved into decorating bodies with clothing, jewelry and accessories A niche store, one that specialized in flowers, had turned into an accumulation of niches.

Not everything at The Watering Can Too is exactly a niche, baseball caps and T-shirts for example. But they do evoke a certain personal style.

The caps feature slogans such as Bad Hair Day, Dog Mom, pink hats with breast cancer awareness ribbons, blue lives matter caps featuring an American flag with a thin blue line, and in keeping with the bad hair day theme, Jeep Hair Don’t Care.

The store also carries Live Oak and Puppy Love T-shirts.

“The great thing about Puppy Love as a company, it donates 10% of their profits to shelters and rescue organizations across the country,” Phillips said.

A favorite T-shirt design? One that reads Hanging Out Down South and features blue tick hound puppies wearing orange overalls and hanging on a clothes line.

Customers share their wants

“Everything we’ve done has been in response to what our customers want from us. They ask and we try to deliver as best we can. If it’s a certain style, a certain color or even something different. That’s how we got Kavu.” Phillips said, referring to the Seattle-based brand that sells outdoor wear, including bags.

“We never thought we’d be a Kavu retailer until we got a couple of customers: ‘You know, we’ve got your purses, but we want a bag that we can take with us when we go to Dollywood or wherever.’ So we became a Kavu dealer earlier this year.”

That’s one example of how The Watering Can evolved, but that wasn’t the primary motivation for The Watering Can Too.

“One of the things that we realized in doing boutique is there doesn’t seem to be a lot of options for plus-size ladies. We try to carry an equal part of regular size and plus size,” Phillips said.

“Our philosophy is that women deserve to look good and feel good about themselves without spending an arm and a leg. We think that women should be able to buy clothing that’s not only comfortable but also looks good and is affordable. We’re very conscious of price points when we are looking because not everybody’s going to want to spend a hundred dollars on a maxi dress.”

He points to a dress on the display wall.

“That is $40. It’s made in America. V.Lu Style is one of our brands that we carry. We’ve actually gotten to know Veronica (Miller) who’s the designer of this, as well as Carol who is the designer of the Carol Christian (Poell) line. We actually met them at (AmericasMart) Atlanta and have gotten to know them over the next several years.”

The latest plan was to take a trip this past weekend to take in one more wholesale show before today.

“Which is why we’re opening on Monday. So we can get any last-minute items that we want to carry,” Phillips said.

Bob has served in a variety of roles since joining The Daily Times in the 90s. He currently is editor of the business section. When someone gets promoted, retires or gets hired at a new job in Blount County, he's the man to email.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.