Pop. Fizz. It’s that satisfying sound you hear when you open a soda that triggers your caffeine addiction.
It’s also a place for clothing addicts.
Popfizz Boutique, with locations in Oxford and Jackson, is a popular place to find the latest trends. The stores are owned and operated by four Ole Miss alumni who never imagined it would be part of their future.
The four owners attended the University of Mississippi, where three were active members of the same Greek organization. Only one, Julie Galloway, wanted to own a boutique. Susan Malouf was studying to become a pharmacist.
Later, they found themselves navigating clothing markets in Dallas, Las Vegas, Atlanta and New York City in search of the latest fashions and modern trends. The store carries game day apparel, comfortable shorts, T-shirts, shoes, jewelry, gifts and accessories.
“It’s really neat to have experienced college together, and now getting the chance to own a business together in our alma mater,” said Malouf.
The idea for Popfizz was born 10 years ago in Jackson. Galloway had always wanted to own a retail store, but hoped to include her sorority sister and close friend, Susan Malouf. After a short 30-minute conversation, they came up with a plan.
Within a week, Galloway and Malouf traveled to the Dallas market, a place where boutique owners pre-order their inventory. After selecting items, the ladies were eager to open the store.
How did they get that name? A friend and owner of a local monogramming store suggested naming the boutique Popfizz, the name of a font the store carried.
The next step was creating a logo that would stand out and make the store easily recognizable. Popfizz owners sought a company that would give them a modern and enticing logo that agreed with their vision.
“Popfizz” was printed onto the awning in large letters in an appealing font, just like the original font that sparked the idea. It can be seen from the road.
After four busy months, the owners opened the first Popfizz Boutique July 27, 2007 in Jackson. The ladies’ original vision was for the store to have a name that was gender and age neutral. Both ladies had young children, so they wanted the boutique to carry children’s and tween clothing.
Malouf and Galloway wanted their business to grow as their children did, evolving from a young audience, including tweens, to carrying tween and adult clothing. The Jackson location continues to expand and successfully sell tween and adult clothing.
Starting their first store was rewarding and prosperous, and the ladies learned a lot about the retail field. One of their biggest challenges has been attempting to bring big city styles to Mississippi from fashion capitals like Dallas and New York City. By doing this, Popfizz Jackson has been featured in Mississippi Magazine as “The Best Tween Apparel Clothing In Mississippi” and “Best of Jackson.”
After the success of the Jackson location, Cheryl McInnis and a college friend decided they wanted to open another Popfizz store. They contacted Malouf and Galloway. With numerous tourist attractions, a continuous flow of college students, and the University of Mississippi nearby, the Oxford Square was chosen as the location.
The Oxford store would be a “young and contemporary adult and higher-end women’s fashion store, selling, apparel, shoes, jewelry, gifts and accessories,” Malouf said.
The four owners believed the best way to advertise their new store was through social media. By having a strong social media presence, Popfizz Oxford appealed to their target audiences.
Through Instagram, Facebook, and selling merchandise on shoptique.com, customers can see Popfizz’s newest apparel and accessories and buy them online.
Oxford employee Hannah Rom said the store tries to reach customers on a personal level. “It’s so fun to see how our store expands our inventory to try and fit the community of Oxford’s desires and preferences,” she said.
The owners of Popfizz Boutique have been asked by numerous manufacturers to start their own clothing line.
The store now carries “125 different brands between adult and tween clothing combined,” said Malouf. “Owning Popfizz Jackson for 12 years with one of my best friends and now Popfizz Oxford for two years in December with two additional friends has been an absolute pleasure making for a fun and rewarding job.”