NEW MARKET — Cristi Coryell might have plenty of passions, but the one that takes the top spot for her just might be people, she said.
Coryell has taken a love for boutiques, the feeling of wanting to fill a void in her community and her passion for people and turned that into The ButterCup, a women’s boutique at 9431 S. Congress St.
She just opened the shop on Small Business Saturday in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, but she said the shop has proven successful and worth it so far.
“Things have been amazing. I’ve kind of got to continually pinch myself because, considering all the things that are going on in the world today, we’re not only surviving but thriving in this current environment,” she said. “I’m super overwhelmed and grateful for the support in the community, throughout the county and the valley.”
The ButterCup offers items with mid-range prices that are size-inclusive — “Every shape and size of woman can come in and find something that puts a smile on their face. That’s amazing to me as the owner to see happen,” Coryell said.
The shop also offers some small home decor items as well as jewelry, which include quick-selling earrings.
At 5 p.m. every Friday and Monday, she does a Facebook Live session with customers that showcases new merchandise coming in. If you see something on those that you like, you can send the shop a message and they can make arrangements.
“I was really intentional about the type of store that I wanted to open, the feel and the inventory I wanted to carry,” Coryell said. “If you travel from the north end of the valley through all of the little towns between Winchester and Harrisonburg, there’s not really many women’s boutiques that focus on fashion and unique pieces that have an affordable price tag. We’ve really found a great niche with that in our community.”
The journey that’s led her to owning The ButterCup has been filled with many stops, Coryell said.
She was a teacher in her 20s, then moved into the wine industry in Napa Valley before moving back to Virginia and working in the hard cider industry and finally landing in retail ownership.
“I just kept feeling like I wanted to do something different. I wanted it to still be about people, but I wanted to be more creative and to fill a void that I felt we had in the community,” she said. “It’s taking some things that I love and am passionate about, but the true success of it is the way people feel when they're in the shop and what the feeling is that they leave with.”
And when she decided to open the shop, she only had one name choice — The ButterCup.
A while ago, she said she went through a phase where she would use the phrase “What’s up, Buttercup?” So, when it came time to pick out a name for the store, her mind immediately went there.
“It was this little love greeting that I would give to people that I cared about,” she said. “So, I thought what better way to share that love and greeting than by naming the shop The ButterCup.”
Mainly, she came back home to spend more time around family, but she decided if she was going to be back that she wanted to make a difference.
Part of that, she said, is spending time with her 11- and 13-year-old nieces. The girls have been doing virtual learning during the pandemic and they’ve been spending time at the shop with Coryell, helping out and learning the business.
Coryell said she’s the lone employee right now, but her family pitches in here and there, which makes her happy.