Classy Touch reaches 10 years of business

Published 12:24 pm Tuesday, August 9, 2022

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By Carey Reeder | Staff Writer

Brandy Van’t Hof has had the magic touch to turn a five-year experiment into a 10-year commitment with Classy Touch Boutique in Clanton. An event to celebrate the special anniversary was held at the business with finger foods and drinks on Aug. 9.

Van’t Hof, owner of Classy Touch, said the business was a startup in June 2012 that was supposed to end after her daughter graduated high school. Ten years later, Classy Touch has become a mainstay in the robust boutique scene in Chilton County. Their front windows have been painted to create a mural celebrating the occasion.

“In retail you never know, but the last couple years, despite COVID, has been total amazing,” Van’t Hof said. “We have been very blessed … I have had a lot of good staff along the way. You can never do it just by yourself.”

Like any small business, the COVID-19 pandemic took a toll on Classy Touch. Van’t Hof said a lot of people in Chilton County shopped local during 2020 and said they could not have done it without the support from the local shoppers.

There are many boutiques in Chilton County, but Van’t Hof said she has never looked at the others as competition, but as a resource.

“I really feel like me and a couple of the other boutiques in town are like a little team, and we try to help each other out and are also passing information back and forth, and I think everyone is doing great,” Van’t Hof said. “We are all in our own lane, and we are all doing our own thing. If I do not have something, I will send them to the other boutiques in our town. I think that is the whole shop local (mindset).”

Classy Touch began with selling makeup brand Merle Norman after the local store closed its doors. Van’t Hof was able to get the zip code restricted product and sell it to customers. Zip code restricted products are items companies look at population size in cities before offering the product in the area.

Classy Touch was able to pull some strings to get both Merle Norman and Pandora jewelry in store to sell after Van’t Hof moved to Clanton from the Prattville location. The boutique offers other items like clothing, accessories, shoes and more.

Van’t Hof’s husband, Adriaan, said he has enjoyed watching the business grow in Clanton.

“(Brandy) really enjoys the boutique,” he said. “A ton of different people come in, not just to shop but to hangout, too.”

In recent years, Van’t Hof said that Classy Boutique has gaining business from people coming from Montgomery or Birmingham who may not want to go into the mall for products like Merle Norman or Pandora.

Customers from as far as Illinois and California who have moved into the region have also come through the Classy Touch doors in recent months.

“I love it, I love the people,” Van’t Hof said. “You have to love the people and retail, and I really do. I do not know what else I would do.”

Van’t Hof said the people and customers the last 10 years has been the best part of having the business. Now in the summer months, Classy Touch is getting more foot traffic in from lake goers who are visiting Lake Mitchell.

In the future, Van’t Hof’s only hope is for the business to continue to trend upward and grow. She also wants to get more involved with Classy Touch benefitting a foundation. The business does contribute to local schools now, but wants to do more.

“You can look at numbers and profits all the time, but you want to see a growth,” Van’t Hof said. “I am ready for that next step, and I want some kind of foundation (to support). We are praying about that and seeing how that will evolve.”

Classy Touch has been utilizing social media to help generate business by hosting live streams with sales to help customers shop directly from their phones.