Continuing along the discovery of Downtown Vandalia’s new shops, we visit the newest along the beat, Ali Marie’s on Gallatin, which is stocking quality, tasteful and attractive fashions for both men and women.
It is a family affair, as Allison Durbin and her husband, Jeremy, are involved, as well as their three children: Marcus, 14; Robert, 9; and Abigail, 7.
Ali Marie’s …
…is a family endeavor, which seems to be a factor in the beginnings and growth of the various new businesses now available in downtown Vandalia.
People now have the choice and opportunity to shop in Vandalia, instead of traveling to other towns.
Allison is very compassionate and is glad that she will have resources to help others. Jeremy said that is what motivates her to have a business, so she will be in a position to help others.
She and Jeremy plan to establish a scholarship fund for local teens and for an inner city mission in the future.
Inspiration for Ali Marie’s
“The Flowers family asked people what they wanted, and they said clothing stores,” Allison said. “So they told me about it, I made some phone calls and here we are”
Ali Marie’s is open Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.
“But we have private shopping appointments available in the evenings if a lady or man would like to come in and be waited on exclusively,” she said. Ali Marie’s can be a one-stop shopping trip, as she is carrying a variety of items.
That includes clothing. “I have a great line by Angelrox, which is ideal for travel, work, evenings at home. The Wrap is an amazing layer that can be styled as a skirt, dress, vest, shawl, tunic, kimono, hood or shrug.
“Very versatile, they can even be styled and arranged for maternity wear, adjusting as needed. It’s wearable before, during and after pregnancy.”
She will also have a line of Christian jewelry and clothing by Brittany Rush Ballo Image.
They will also be carrying a line of shoes with an orthopedic heel, including sandals and nice designer shoes; accessories such as jewelry, sunglasses and scarves for women.
For the men they will carry designer leather belts and Blue Chair Bay Denims blue jeans. She will also carry women’s jeans and a line of denim skirts.
“With the price of gas, you won’t have to drive miles to shop, and almost everything I carry is priced a little cheaper that what you would pay for this quality elsewhere.
“If something (in stock) is not the right size, I can special order anything. Everything I have in the store, you cannot get anywhere in this area. You have to go out of town to get any of it.
“We are doing this as a family, so the kids are going to help in the store,” Allison said. “The older one is not as enthused, because he is going to have to get a haircut, but the younger two are ready to roll their sleeves up and get to work,” she said.
Allison is originally from St. Louis. She and Jeremy met on a bridge deck in St. Peters, Mo., where they were both ironworkers. “She is too pretty to be an ironworker,” Jeremy said.
“He brought me back to Vandalia, and I love it here,” Allison said.
The location of the shop (just east of the cheese shop and ice cream shop) is convenient for the family.
“The kids attend school at Vandalia Christian Academy, so they are right downtown here when they get out of school,” Allison said.
She has been working at Old Towne Cheese Shop, and Jeremy is the music leader at Northside Christian Church. He is also a carpenter.
Allison feels that the shop is where God wants her, as other doors had been closed to her in other endeavors. “Things just wouldn’t work out. But with the store, doors just opened up for me – just a few phone calls.”
In preparation, she even went to the second-largest fashion show in the country, in Atlanta, Ga., and made many contacts.
“My uncle got me a first-class plane ticket to go and it was a real treat.” She said.
“We have been blessed by the Flowers family,” she said, “And Dennis Grubaugh, who owns the building, has been so good to us.”
Jeremy agreed, and added his praises to the work Grubaugh has done to help downtown Vandalia.
You an reach Allison at 339-7159 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.