October 26, 2012
Growing Through Arts® Retailer: Divine Dance
It’s just a few days before Marijon Clarke is set to open Divine Dance Boutique in North Myrtle Beach, SC, and everything is still a-flutter at the store. There are display shelves to be built, leotards to be hung, and boxes of shoes, tights, and wrap sweaters arriving daily.
“I can’t wait to get my next shipment in. It’s like Christmas!” Clarke says excitedly.
Clarke’s daughters, ages 7 and 10, are especially excited to get the store’s first shipment from Growing Through Arts®.
“My girls love it a lot,” she says of the line of educational books, toys and accessories. “It’ll probably end up being some of the Christmas gifts for my children.”
Clarke knew if her daughters liked the colorful ballet-themed books and toys, other children would, too.
Clarke says the storybooks, which include a glossary of ballet terms, deepen children’s and parents’ appreciation for dance. “It helps me understand what they’re learning (in dance class),” she says. “It’s good for the moms as well as the dancers.”
Her daughters are also looking forward to receiving the matching tutus and tiaras from Growing Through Arts®. “They’re as cute as can be,” she says.
Clarke only dabbled in dance as a child, but she became immersed in the dance world when her daughters starting taking everything from jazz and tap to hip hop, ballet and gymnastics.
That many styles, of course, means many pairs of shoes and frequent trips to a dance store, and after talking to several other local parents who had to drive more than 45 minutes to the closest dancewear store, Clarke decided to open her own.
It took her about a year to get approved to carry different lines of clothing, rent a storefront and order her shipments, but now, Divine Dance Boutique is ready to open its doors. The official grand opening with the local chamber of commerce will be on Nov. 15.
Clarke says her daughters have been an invaluable help in deciding which merchandise to carry in the store, going through the catalogues and picking out their favorite items. “When we have sleepovers, I ask their little friends what they would wear,” she added.
Clarke has been running her father’s bowling alley since he had a stroke five years ago, and she is thrilled to take on a new challenge of managing a dance store, as well.
“When you find something that gives you that new spark, you have to do it,” she says.