When it comes to knowing what parents (and grandparents) want for their young kids, Mindy Ballard of Just Ducky has the goods.
Asheville can claim its fair share of legacy businesses, and it’s not a stretch to presume that a deep and abiding customer loyalty comes with the territory. Such is the case with Just Ducky children’s boutique, originally founded as Just Ducky Originals in 1982 by Sallie Broach in northeast Buncombe County. Selling custom-made, high-end clothing for kids at home shows and at retail stores in Asheville and Waynesville, the company has endured amidst the sundry ups and downs that brick-and-mortar stores have had to weather, both during the notoriously perilous Asheville retail environment of the ‘80s and, more recently, the decimation of physical retailers at the hands of Amazon and other online entities.
The business has changed hands and locations a couple of times over the years, with Mindy Ballard purchasing it from Aimee Mayer in 2017; at that point Just Ducky was located in Biltmore Village. (Two of the store’s current employees, Sandy Slosman and Lucille Ward, have been with Just Ducky almost since its inception all those years ago.) Now, with a recent move in March to South Tunnel Road, beside Whole Foods and across from the Asheville Mall, Ballard predicts that she’ll be able to expand and grow the business even more.
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