over50feeling40: Look What I Found at the Grocery Store....Stylists Extraordinaire!
Fashion and Lifestyle Blog for women over 50 to help achieve strength, confidence, joy, inspiration, and, of course, head-turning personal style!

Feb 26, 2011

Look What I Found at the Grocery Store....Stylists Extraordinaire!

Fabulous Hats surround the rim of the store!

A couple of years ago, while in the grocery checkout line, I looked up from my coupons long enough to see that a Specialty Women’s Fashion Boutique had opened right in front of my sacker. I believe at that time I said under my breath, “There is no way that will be here long.” Women are not going to walk away from carts of groceries and take time to shop for fun. Ladies, I was so wrong. Not only is the boutique still here in my grocery, but this afternoon I sat down with the owner, Thaddaeus Iglehart Williams (59) and her business partner Colette Singh (45) and, let me tell you, I believe these ladies could make any venture successful.

Thaddaeus (L) and Colette(R) are really
more family than friends.  They do
everything together.

Dessie’s Boutique is named after Williams’ mother who passed on fourteen years ago, but her spirit is still alive within her daughter and the store. “She was the greatest influence in my life,” Williams said. She loved to dress up and believed that women did themselves a disservice when they refuse to. “She was such a strong woman. She taught me to have a strong faith and the importance of education, so that I did not have to depend on anyone. I learned to be able to make it on my own if I needed to.”

All of her mother’s lessons are evident in Thaddaeus’ life. She has been a secondary school educator for 27 years working with at-risk students, she is mother of three; she is a pastor’s wife, a business owner, and faithful friend. Her business partner is her very best friend who is also an educator of at risk students. Her husband is a pastor but also a Vice Principle in one of the largest school districts in the state. You can see the thread of education throughout her world and she believes that prepares anyone to be a survivor. She epitomizes strength and dignity.

Come back tomorrow to see how Grocery
Couture Works!  (Dessie's is
located in the Northwoods HEB,
at 218/1604; or call her at 210-232-5540)

And, she believes that fashion is a natural fit with everything else. She saw in her Monte Vista church how men, women, boys, and girls began to feel empowered and like survivors when they felt better about their appearance. She has done many fashion shows and sales in her church building. Her original trek into fashion began when she was discovered at age 18 by the fashion coordinator for Frost Brothers, at that time a high end department store in downtown San Antonio. After following her around an event, the woman recruited Darlene, to be the first African American model for Frost Brothers. She also took Darlene to New York for six years to model. Dessie’s daughter, Darlene, changed her name to Thaddaeus (her father’s name) because she felt it was unique and would help her career.

Well, this is one of the longest posts I have ever written. But, there is much more to tell. Thaddaeus and Colette have definite ideas about business and dressing women….so tune in tomorrow for the rest of the story.  Now, I have to go pick up something for dinner while I'm here!!

Dessie's carries a beautiful line of jewelry made by a woman who has
no hands and uses her toes to fashion the pieces!


  1. Dessie is one busy woman! Does she do her own designs or is her store selling pieces by local San Antonio designers?

  2. Hi Terri...she goes to market and has some favorite designers she works with for the looks she wants to feature. I will have some of those tomorrow and discuss her business philsophy. I think her work with local designers is minimal.

  3. How exciting. I look forward to the next chapter.

  4. Love to see hats in a grocery store or anywhere for that matter!

  5. How very interesting!!!!
    have a wonderful Sunday my dear Pam.

  6. I have always wanted one of those crazy "church hats"!

  7. I love this post. Now I get a taste of some of the small businesses in your neighborhood. You've wet my whistle. I can't wait for part 2!

  8. Loved this post and can't wait for the next installment! What a creative enterprise.

  9. wow now who says groceries aren't fun!! love that idea!

  10. Wow, I HATE grocery shopping more than anything. But if I lived there, I think I'd go more often.

  11. Now HEB truly has everything. Is it weird to miss a grocery store chain when you move? This is a great story, I look forward to part two!

  12. Seriously? this is the coolest thing ever...happy Sunday Sweets!!

  13. Pam, I can't wait to read tomorrow's post! What inspiring women and I have to say....I completely agree with them. How we dress absolutely affects our attitudes. In a grocery store?!?! Who'da thunk it!? ~Serene

  14. This is so cool! They sound like fascinating women. And how much more fun would grocery shopping be with a boutique inside!

  15. I need to meet these women!!! I love this post and wow, you get to meet the coolest people. I was so excited because I see this box sitting on the deep freeze in the garage. It was YOUR box!!! How it never made it inside? Maybe god knew I needed it today. I love, love the earrings and the Pin. It will be appearing on a post this week in various ways. It is so versatile. Im excited.

  16. Great post, love it!!!

  17. What a inspirational story. Wow thanks 4 sharing. Followed you, please follow back. Mrs. Shopper @ http://www.simplyshopandsave.ca


Thanks so much for joining in our conversation today! I appreciate your time and love hearing from you!