Find Your Sense Of Wonder At The Queen’s Court In Clayton, NC
by Esme Addison
Growing up, I recall being surrounded by pretty things. But I never thought too much about it – home decor, and the various ways to express yourself by buying certain types of furniture and what-nots. It wasn’t until I as an adult returned to my parent’s home and realized that my mother has a real flair for decorating and a love for the shabby chic aesthetic.
I was so impressed with her design that I decided to create an Instagram feed just for her love of beauty and whimsy as seen in her home and garden. You can see the feed here.
So now, one of my favorite things to do with my mother is visit boutiques that specialize in pretty, whimsical home decor.
I try to find these types of stores in small towns, independently owned… and if they can be on an actual main street… All the better!
Which leads me to the purpose of this article.
The Queen’s Court In Clayton, NC
The Queen’s Court in Clayton, NC is an exquisite gem of a store located about 30 minutes from my parent’s home in a cute small town that has a bustling main street. My mother had been once to buy silk flowers to hang on her window and wanted me to visit with her. So we drove to Clayton and spent a few hours on main street.
I could tell from the window as I approached the store that I would love it. And then you open the door and are overwhelmed by bright colors and beautiful things that are uplifting. There are a lot of items in this store, things to look at, to touch, to smell. I was immediately drawn to every single display and had to take moments to investigate everything.
There were so many things I wanted to purchase, and my mind exploded with ways to display and present these items in my home. When I arrived at the store, I hadn’t planned on taking pictures. But then I did, and I thought, maybe I’ll create an Instagram post about the store.
So I began clicking.
Meanwhile, I became aware of one of the co-owners on the floor. I recognized him from the website.
His name is Randy, and he was talking to customers about the items in such a personal way, that you just know that many people return to The Queen’s Court not just for the home decor but for the personalized customer service. After listening to one of the owners talk to a customer, I knew I had to interview him. I wanted to understand the vision behind the shop and learn more about the men behind the store.
So I introduced myself to the co-owner and asked if I could interview him. Totally impromptu and not the way we normally do interviews. But I’m so glad I did and excited to share the images and story behind The Queen’s Court.
But, when I go into a business and I know the owner is there (and not busy) I always ask questions whether I’m doing an official “interview” or not. It’s one of the reasons I created Due South – to share the places and things I love, and the people that inspire me.
With shops in particular, I love to understand the inspiration behind the creation. It’s just like learning about the terroir of wine to inform the complexity of the notes. Understanding the ground from which the grapes grew somehow makes the wine taste better.
I want to know the story behind things. It makes me appreciate it more, buy more products. and keep coming back.
I love to support local businesses and hear the stories that inspire entrepreneurs to follow their passions. That’s the dream, isn’t it? To make money doing what you love?
Wonderful if you can make that happen for yourself. And when I find it, I want to share it!
As we all know starting and maintaining a business is not easy, and I was gratified. to hear that the community in Clayton continues to support The Queen’s Court despite launching during a pandemic.
You can listen to the interview below.
I began the interview with Randy, and I asked him: “What do you want customers to feel when they walk into your store?“
Like… Alice In Wonderland.
After we chatted for a bit, he politely stepped away to attend to his customers. If you listen to the brief interview below, you’ll hear him in the background talking to customers and trying to help them find the perfect item. And then I continue with Scott. You’ll hear how they bring two different skill sets to the business but collaborate beautifully to create a one-of-a-kind shopping experience in downtown Clayton.
The Queen’s Court is located at 331 East Main Street Clayton, NC. Learn more about them on their website.