“Wear it. Flaunt it. Live it.” – Sabi motto
From fashion to home décor, designer jewelry, and shoes, one can’t help but gawk in awe when walking into the Sabi Boutique. The store is a shop-a-holics daydream, with shoes, scarves, glitz and glam lining the walls from floor to ceiling.
An inspiring bible verse inscribed on the store’s main wall, Proverbs 31:25, caught my eye upon my first entering. “She is clothed with strength and dignity and laughs without fear of the future.” The rest of the walls are adorned with family photos and a custom-made wooden mural.
Sabi is an all-inclusive boutique, meaning that they support all differing religions, age demographics, body types, and organizations from philanthropy to non-profits. Every customer, and employee, is valued and treated like family, no matter the differences. Join the Sabi Sisterhood and help to gain grace and confidence through faith and fashion. The Sabi boutique is a place for women to feel comfortable being themselves.
Now let’s take a look at the three strong willed, inspiring women behind it all. Created by a mother and her two daughters, the Sabi Boutique sets out to alter the status quo of boutique shopping. Janis, Meredith and Natalie set out to change the fashion world of College Station.
“We just felt like there was something missing from the retail world,” Meredith McAuliffe, the eldest of the sisters explained. “Our purpose became to find the things that no one else has, while also staying in tune to style trends. The goal for every day is how can we positively affect someone’s life and put a smile on their face.”
McAuliffe, the primary daughter running the business, sat across from me, her aqua eyes bright and animated as she told me a little about herself. Meredith McAuliffe is the only non-Aggie founder, and an Emmy award-winning broadcast journalist. I found myself quite curious as to what took this woman from a writing career to high-end retail. McAuliffe told me that she was the lead anchor of KBTX for 8 years, and, although she was happy and thankful for her job, she just felt that there was still a different purpose out there for her. After McAuliffe and her husband, also a professional journalist, found out that they were expecting their first child, Ireland, everything began to change. With her husband traveling across the state and writing for the Texas Bucket List, McAuliffe knew she needed to be there for her family.
“Sabi offers a little bit more of a flexible schedule, and I really want to be there to help shape Ireland and Declan’s lives,” McAuliffe, the loving mother, professed with a smile.
Now I’m sure you’re all wondering where the name Sabi even comes from? Crinkling her eyes, McAuliffe gave a small chuckle as she explained the story behind it all. McAuliffe’s mother, cofounder “Queen” Janis Stancik, is a seasoned fashionista and has always had a passion for fashion. Stancik used to run a clothing store in La Grange, up until her parents became ill. Faced with hardship, Stancik selflessly chose to leave the store and care for them. Stancik has always had a fierce love of spicy wasabi peas, and she was never interested in being a regular old “Grandma.” So, when she learned she was going to be a grandmother, Queen Janis Stancik adopted the title of Sabi, in honor of her love of spicing things up. From business to play, Sabi is here to stay. And although she is not running the operations regularly at the store, Queen Sabi does pop in every week to share her warmth.
Younger sister Natalie Wood also worked at the store for years, until she got married and moved to Washington. Since the move, Wood has actually started her own jewelry line, Natalie Wood Designs, which is sold at the boutique.
When asked about the possibility of expansion, McAuliffe said that the Sabi boutique is unsure of God’s exact plans for them, so they do not know if they will be expanding their storefronts anytime soon. She explained to me that as of right now, they are focusing on putting an emphasis on Sabi’s online store and in-store pickup.
Sabi’s current storefront is located in the Wolf Pen Creek retail center. This spunky store merrily welcomes customers from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Monday and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Although the store is closed on Sundays for religious reasons, there is still 24/7 access to the online boutique!
All online items include free shipping, and Sabi offers free in-store pickup. As of right now, with every in-store pickup, customers will also receive a $5 gift card to use on a different purchase. The online boutique is quite extensive, with so many different on-trend and unique options. Another cool feature of the website is that all of the models displayed in Sabi attire have their sizes listed, so that women can ensure that they find the best fit for them. With hundreds of designers to choose from, the stylish options are seemingly endless.
This shop is filled with 20 part-time college women. McAuliffe confided in me that she loves to hire college students, because she knows she can positively influence them and help give back. She hopes to prepare them for the real world, by giving students a flexible schedule, offering guidance and providing them with a home away from home. The family atmosphere is very important to the Sabi Sisterhood, and everyone, whether friend, employee or even stranger, is invited in and treated like family.
“We hope Sabi becomes a place of comfort,” McAuliffe proclaimed. “Women need to be empowered and feel good about themselves.”