Bloom grows on Main Street

Published 12:44 am Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Leigh Furlough, owner of Bloom Women’s Apparel, pauses in front of her store Tuesday on Washington’s Main Street. (WDN Photo/Jonathan Clayborne)

Editor’s note: BizLine is a weekly feature highlighting local businesses serving Washington and Beaufort County. This week’s BizLine frames Bloom Women’s Apparel, a new store sited in downtown Washington.

Washington native Leigh Furlough is on a mission to provide smart, versatile fashions to the women of Washington.

With that in mind, Furlough opened Bloom Women’s Apparel on Sept. 14.

Located at 100 W. Main St., the shop zeroes in on stylish apparel, but it also offers everything from watches to candles.

A Washingtonian born and bred, Furlough attended the University of Mississippi, majoring in hospitality management.

“I love working with people,” said Furlough, owner and operator of Bloom. “That’s my thing, and I’ve always had an interest in fashion.”

Furlough worked in the clothing trade for several years before launching her business.

“I just knew Washington had so much potential, and we just really needed something, especially for my target age market, which is 35 to 65,” she said. “They just really needed a place they could pop in, last minute if need be, and walk out looking good, feeling great.”

Asked to describe the garments she sells, Furlough indicated an array of clothes that marry form and function.

“I really do day to night,” she explained. “Everything is really versatile. I do have trendy pieces as well as very classic pieces. I’ve got a really broad range.”

And Bloom carries accessories such as scarves, jewelry and gifts, including candles, hand soaps and lotions.

Furlough’s clients may choose to benefit from her personal styling and delivery services.

“I do house calls, if you will — gift delivery, really striving to make the shopping process not a burden, just trying to make it as easy as possible,” she said.

Furlough added she’s listening to her customers, trying to provide them with the fashions they want and need, all the while gearing up for the holiday shopping season.

She’ll mark the festive occasion with open houses, extended hours and a different featured item for each of the “12 days of Christmas.”

Regular store hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays.

Bloom has a Facebook page, and a website is in the works, Furlough advised.

She credited her family — mother and father Chris and Nancy Furlough, fiancé Richard Gertz and sister Lauren Sorenson and her husband Clint — for being her support system as she works to make her business grow.

“Everyone in the community has been very supportive,” she said. “It’s been very well received.”

For more information, call Bloom at 252-833-0560.