Legacy & Leadership: Misty’s The House of Style

When I was in high school, I was Jones County’s Jr. Miss, and I was invited to every ribbon cutting and ground breaking ceremony in the county.  One of my favorite events to attend was the ribbon cutting for Misty’s The House of Style.  I remember watching the construction of the store with my youth group from our Sunday night hangout, McAlister’s Deli, next door.  The instant I walked into Misty’s store, I knew I was some place special.  Not only were there beautiful clothes and creative store displays everywhere I turned, but there was such a warm and welcoming atmosphere too.  Five years later, I was preparing for the Miss Mississippi pageant and Misty helped me find the perfect outfits and accessories for arrivals and autographs parties. And in 2006, when I got married, Misty’s came to my rescue once again. Hers was the only store in town that carried Spanx at the time, and I can honestly say, there would not have been a wedding without them.

Anytime I’ve shopped at Misty’s I left her store feeling more confident than when I arrived.  It takes a special person to make others feel that way. Her demeanor has permeated her staff as well, making Misty’s a true shopping destination.

Read our interview below and you’ll see just why Misty Foster is a leader in our community and her brand leaves a legacy for other retail stores to aspire to.

What is Misty’s?

Misty’s is an upscale women’s clothing store.  Here at Misty’s, we pride ourselves on our dedication to our clients by offering the utmost customer service.  It’s known that we go the extra mile for all of our customers.  Not only do we sell good quality clothing, but we also offer in-store alterations on items purchased here.  You will never purchase a gift here and be charged for gift wrapping.  When shopping at Misty’s, you can always count on a friendly smile and a hug around the neck.

How did Misty’s begin?

As a young girl, I always envisioned myself as a dentist, which is totally crazy because I’m very fearful of having dental work done. While in college at The University of Southern Mississippi, I changed my major from science to fashion merchandising and marketing. While in college, I worked in several retail stores and loved it. After I graduated from college, I was hired by Mrs. Joy Roberts to work at her store, Roberts, in the North Laurel Shopping Center. I had the best experience working for her and meeting so many ladies that I had not known prior to this job. Although I loved my job, I felt like I had a calling to open my own business. And the rest is history!

How did your store come to be in its current location. Is this a structure that has been repurposed or a new building?

As I began the challenge of opening a store, it was also a challenge finding the right place.  My mom and I looked and looked at so many buildings in downtown Laurel and surrounding areas but decided that a free standing building was the way for us to go.  We purchased the lot next door to McAlister’s Deli and have been happy with our location. It’s the gateway to our new and wonderful downtown Laurel with a lot of traffic. We have two entrances that make it easier for our customers to access the store, and a big parking lot.

How do you think Misty’s will be different five years from now?

Laurel is a wonderful small town with the friendliest people, who are open to change and making our town better. With our new HGTV series, Home Town, we look forward to many new people visiting and settling down in our area.  This is nothing but good news for our locally owned businesses and our economy. In five years, I expect great things for not only Misty’s, but our entire town.

 

Who do you think needs to hear your story and why?

Everyone has a dream in life. My wish and prayer everyday is to help someone feel good about themselves. I want my customers to feel loved and appreciated every time they walk through my door. It’s important for my shoppers to know that they are my first priority. If you are looking for great customer service and something special that you don’t see everywhere, then Misty’s is the place to shop. If we don’t have what you are looking for, we will point you in the direction of another wonderful locally owed store.

 

What is your best advice for those looking to participate in the growth, revitalization, and restoration of Downtown Laurel?

I would first start by joining the Laurel Main Street organization. Being a part of this organization means that you are dedicated to making Laurel a better place to live. They have so many people who have put their heart and soul into making a better downtown. All it takes is one phone call to get involved in the many projects and events throughout the year.

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Written by Carrie Cullum

Carrie is a native of Laurel and graduated from R.H. Watkins High School. She graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi with a degree in Broadcast Journalism. Carrie started her social media marketing business, The Social Pages, in 2013. She enjoys partnering with small business owners and watching their businesses grow and succeed!