Written by Emily Glaser | Photos by Anthony Harden
With her sustainably-inclined boutique Ware, Gillie Roberts is receiving her master’s degree in life.
Ware proprietor Gillie Roberts is well-acquainted with assumption.
There’s the widely held belief, for example, that “sustainability”—the foundational tenet of her College Street shop in downtown Asheville—refers solely to matters of environment, a fallacy that Roberts verbally dismantles for shoppers every day.
Then there’s the matter of her age. At just 26, Roberts finds herself increasingly accustomed to queries and comments in the vein of, “Could you give this to your manager?”—a sentiment she dismisses with a smile and a nod.
And then there’s the store itself, a minimalist beacon in the midst of a profusion of downtown shops stocked with cluttered shelves and hippie knick-knacks. Her white walls and scrupulous stock of simple goods spur visitors to speculate her origins, usually presuming Los Angeles or New York City. Which is yet another hunch the Brevard native expels.
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