The Ivory Orchid opens in Helena

Jordan Gable, store manager at The Ivory Orchid in their new location at 4035 Helena Road, shows arriving spring looks. (Contributed)

Jordan Gable, store manager at The Ivory Orchid in their new location at 4035 Helena Road, shows arriving spring looks. (Contributed)

By LAURA BROOKHART / Community Columnist

Meridith M. Waldrop started her business, The Ivory Orchid, mid-January in 2014 initially as an online store.

She also did holiday trunk shows and participated in church fashion shows.

“I always wanted to own my own business,’’ Waldrop said. “After receiving my interior design from Montevallo, I first worked as consultant for Benjamin Moore Paints in Bessemer.’’

From there, she transitioned to interior home consultations, then worked for a home builder doing design work for new construction.

“When someone purchased a home, I helped clients choose finishes. Then, in 2008, the housing market crashed.’’

“Not long afterwards, I received a call from the director of the Development Department (where I worked during college) telling me the position of Coordinator for Development Services was open. I totally believe that God sent me this job at Montevallo,’’ she added.

“With my design background, fashion has always interested me; it’s part of my creative outlet. I enjoy interacting with people and especially like making women feel good about themselves.’’

“We were first a clothing vendor in Lucy’s Lou’s, but were ready to expand.’’

The stylish interior is based on a pleasing neutral palette and specializes in plus sizes, small to 3X.

“Our weekday manager, Jordan Gable, has been great and comes from a strong retail background. She also blogs about fashion and beauty–that is her niche,’’ Waldrop said.

“We try to keep our prices very reasonable and fair. We buy small quantities so we can carry many different styles. We know that moms have other expenses with their children, but they want to look good and be comfortable, so our clothing caters to that.’’

The Ivory Orchid also carries shoes and accessories, scarves and jewelry. At the time of my visit, there was nothing in the store over $40.

The Ivory Orchid will be a vendor at the upcoming Birmingham Boutique Blowout at the Pelham Complex and Shelby County Moms Guide Spring Show at the Wyndham Hotel.

Meridith and her husband Matt Waldrop, an electrician, have two sons.

“Our customers can look forward to sidewalk sales this spring and we will be open on Helena First Fridays.’’

Like The Ivory Orchid on Facebook at Theivoryorchid.com