A new women’s clothing shop has opened in downtown Winter Garden, and the owners say the prices will appeal to everyone. Christy Reynolds and Erika Swart are the driving force behind Doxology, located in the building most notably known as the decades-old feed store on North Main Street.
Doxology primarily is a clothing store, but the inventory includes much more, such as jewelry and accessories, shoes, home décor, kitchen items and lighting. Although it might seem similar to the previous shop that was housed there, Swart and Reynolds said theirs will be different.
When the other business closed, the two friends, who had enjoyed shopping there, made the decision to purchase its inventory and expand on it.
“Doxology is a brand-new concept, it’s a brand-new vision, a brand-new methodology,” the new business owners said. “It’s stemming away from a lot of things they did, and we’re moving into various price points. We’re stepping into community events and will do more in the community.”
There are many new pieces for customers, and Reynolds and Swart continue to look for clothing and items with the special touches that make a boutique unique.
“There will be something for everybody here,” they said. “Down the road, we might have tea.”
Though it is not a faith-based shop, there are faith-inspired gifts and a small sanctuary in the center of the room for prayer, comfort and empowerment.
“A doxology itself is a prayer or a praise to God in the Bible. … A doxology is a break in the middle of scripture, it’s a prayer,” Swart said. “We see this as our vision, we want people to see this as a break, a beautiful building but also a break in your day and a praise to God. It’s obviously open to all people. Everyone will feel something when they come in here.”
Reynolds moved to West Orange County in 2003 and has lived in Oakland for five-and-one-half years. Swart, originally from New Jersey, graduated from Dr. Phillips High School and has lived in Winter Garden for 15 years.
Swart’s background is in grant writing, and Reynolds is a sign-language interpreter, but they were ready to try something new
“It continues to confirm it in my mind from God that everything is lining up for us to do this,” Reynolds said. “I definitely feel His hand in this 100%.”
The shop will be closed most Sundays, with the exception of during special downtown events, so the owners can attend church and spend the day with family.
Both Swart and Reynolds have 12-year-old daughters, and they said it has been rewarding for them to show the girls what they can do with some determination.
The entrepreneurs had a great deal of help from their parents, from offering legal advice, stamping bags, planning the landscape and even the furniture inside.
The comfy sofa tucked against one wall is there because of Reynolds’ father.
“He said so many times, ‘I go shopping with your mom, and I have nowhere to sit,’” she said.
Now he and others can rest while their partners or friends shop.
The co-owners agree it has been nice to make their own decisions regarding the business but are grateful to the many people who helped them get to this point.
“It’s been a good and rewarding experience so far,” Reynolds said. “It’s given me a creative outlook and has stretched me in ways I never thought of.”
Community Editor Amy Quesinberry was born at the old West Orange Memorial Hospital and raised in Winter Garden. Aside from earning her journalism degree from the University of Georgia, she hasn’t strayed too far from her hometown and her three-mile bubble. She grew up reading The Winter Garden Times and knew in the eighth grade she wanted to write for her community newspaper. She has been part of the writing and editing team since 1990.