Clothing boutique celebrates one year in Bellefonte
BELLEFONTE – They went from dreams of coffee and espresso to dreams of fashion, both with a vision to brighten someone’s day.
On Aug. 10, Wendy Hockenberry and Joyce Mills, both formerly of Cool Beans Coffee and Tea, celebrated one year of running Helen Foxx and Co., a women’s clothing boutique located in downtown Bellefonte at 122 S. Allegheny St. To celebrate, Hockenberry and Mills held anniversary activities at the boutique on Saturday, Aug. 12, which included a visit from Miss North America 2017, Kimberly Tweedy Tremaglio, an ice cream social, sales, and more.
After eight years of running Cool Beans, Hockenberry knew that it was finally time to pursue her lifelong dream of opening a women’s clothing boutique. And she could not be happier.
“It has been better than we could have ever imagined,” Hockenberry said.
In a town that prides itself upon its history, it was fitting that the name of the story be of historical significance. According to Mills, they went through the archives and looked up about 30 different names of women who had made a difference in the area, with the possibility of using a name of someone in the clothing industry. One name just fit perfectly: Helen Foxx.
A hat milliner in the early 1910s, Helen Foxx worked in her cousin Bess’s local hat shop and was known to be a “fashion diva” who got her clothes from all over, Mills said. “She just seemed like a woman we wanted to represent our store.”
They both agreed that it was scary venturing out into a new business industry.
“It was the unknown,” Mills said. “You had no idea who was going to come through the door, when they were going to come, how often they would come …”
“… And if we were going to be supported and accepted,” Hockenberry added.
Over the past year, they said the support in the local community and surrounding areas has been immense. Mills said the store frequently gets customers from Lock Haven and ones who travel from as far away as Williamsport and Johnstown.
The boutique aims to make sure all customers find something pretty in their price range, with lower, middle and higher-end price levels, Mills said. All sizes are on hand, too, from extra small through 3X.
At the beginning, the store only sold clothing from eight different clothing lines. Today, Mills said the store has 20 different clothing designers represented, with one-of-a-kind styles that cannot be found at department stores.
Styles include classic,tailored, bohemian, feminine, frilly, and flannels, and they range from very casual to very dressy, Mills explained. Hockenberry added that they aim to pay attention to what is trending, as far as colors and patterns.
At Helen Foxx, they really strive to pay attention to what people want and need.
Hockenberry said the biggest thing Helen Foxx does is offer personal service to customers.
“There are not many places you can go that you get the personal touch, the personal service,” she said. “We say come in and play dress up: we will give you 30 things to try and figure out what style is best for you, what color is best for you.”
Throughout the year, to make customers feel even more special, Hockenberry and Mills host a trunk show by Stella and Dot, a jewelry supplier, and additional events that coordinate around events in downtown Bellefonte. Hockenberry said they host Stella and Dot every three months, with the next event taking place Friday, Sept. 8, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Throughout their business careers, both Hockenberry and Mills have always put the customer first and made sure everyone has felt welcome.
“We’re more than just a store,” Mills said. “We’re a place for women to come in and get showered with love and kindness.”
For more information on Helen Foxx, visit www.facebook.com/helenfoxxandco.