It’s a birthday party down at The Eclectic Peacock in Enfield, and everyone is invited.
If there’s anything owner Audrey Poynton enjoys, it’s a celebration and a smile on the faces of every person who walks through the door of the Palomba Drive location. This month, Audrey is celebrating one year of being the owner of “a unique boutique.” Audrey dreamed up The Eclectic Peacock in 2018.
While there may not be balloons or a cake, the shop contains just about everything else one can think of. To refer to the shop simply as a boutique would be a major understatement. Peacocks are known for their bright colors and ability to stand out from the crowd, and The Eclectic Peacock does just that.
The location is full of unique décor and fashions just waiting to be brought home and enjoyed. When Audrey purchases items for the store, she only buys a few pieces and then will not purchase them again. There’s always something new on the shelves.
For Audrey, who is currently in her 50’s, The Eclectic Peacock came after a different type of career. “I worked in corporate for 30 years. My first job out of college was actually selling gifts. I enjoyed that for a couple years and then worked for the phone company for 25 years and then there was a lot of transition,” Audrey said.
After leaving the corporate world, Audrey was seeking something different. “I said to my husband ‘You know, I really just want to do something fun. Something that I can get joy out of and other people can get joy out of.’ I’m big on clothes and I’ve always liked supporting local businesses. In my travels, I always shopped in boutiques and cool stores,” Audrey said.
Audrey continued, “I’ve been very lucky and blessed in my life. I didn’t hate my career; I was just tired of it. Tired of the rat race of the corporate field. Constantly going, going, going and it doesn’t change and is never enough. What I did was good, but it was time for me to move on.”
With a passion for all things unique on her mind, Audrey dived into the local business profession. “That was my goal. I started repurposing furniture and then selling it and then I reupholstered and did fun things like that. I said to my husband, ‘I want to open up a store.’ He said, ‘Go ahead,’ and here it is,” Audrey shared.
Audrey is big on artisans, locally and globally. Her shop contains items from local artisans such as Oh So Pretties from Wilbraham, Sew Fetch from Greenwich and This Old Bird House from West Springfield.
Audrey also includes items from places such as Southern California and Israel in her shop. “It morphed into clothing and gifts and I wanted it to be a really cool environment where you could just come in and just read about artisans,” Audrey said.
While Audrey does include international items in the store, she said that over 80% of the shop contains US made items. “I try to get artisans in here that are either trying to launch their brands or trying to get the word out about their cause because I’m big on causes,” she said.
Audrey is passionate about providing brands where a portion of the proceeds is donated to an important cause.
“A lot of the stuff that’s in the store is for a cause. We have products where there is a donation to domestic violence or veterans, for example. Just giving back to the community. I always seek out those types of brands because I want to give back to the community and the environment and things like that,” Audrey said.
Audrey said she prides herself on making sure there’s something for everyone in stock at The Eclectic Peacock. “It took me awhile to look at different companies. I brought in high-end brands too just for regular customers who like to have the high-end brands. I tried to bring in something that’s, price point wise, good for somebody that wants to spend $10 and good for somebody that wants to spend something like $400,” she shared.
Audrey continued, “I just love it. It’s fun. I love when people come in and they’re just happy and enjoying it and they’re reading about the artist and how they got there or what the company’s about. It’s fun and I think people enjoy it.”
For Audrey, being the owner of The Eclectic Peacock is not just about running a business, it’s about creating a welcoming and fun atmosphere for her customers. A visit to the shop is like a visit to Audrey’s own home. “I offer tea or a coffee or cider. I offer little snacks so when people come in, they can just feel like it’s at home. If they find something they like, then great. But if they don’t, it’s okay. At least they came in and enjoyed and saw what I had to offer. If they just tell people about it, that’s okay too,” Audrey shared.
In addition to Audrey, customers are likely to meet one of her friendly staff members during their visit. Audrey said the girls that she works alongside have each brought special personalities to the store. “It’s so fun. I have a good group of girls working with me. In the beginning, it was just me all of the time,” Audrey said.
“We have a single mom who comes in and helps and she loves it. I have a friend of a friend and she enjoys working because she wants to get out. She’s a mom and Saturdays are her getaway days. She used to live in New York and she was like ‘This store reminds me of a New York boutique and I just love to work here!’ They have passion about the business too, which is nice. It’s fun. We make it so fun.” she shared.
Customers are often invited to join Audrey and her team for girl’s night festivities. “A group of girls could come in and have wine or champagne and snacks and they can just browse. Sometimes, I’ll do an event where there’s shopping for an hour and then we will have a psychic medium for two hours. It’s been fun doing that,” Audrey said.
She continued, “It gives people an out to enjoy each other, I get to know people, and people are nice. If my regulars come in, I know them by name and it’s just really nice to get to know them.”
Audrey quickly becomes a friend to her customers. “I’ve had customers come in here sad, telling me stories and when they left, they’d give me a hug and enjoyed the experience. When somebody leaves here happy, it makes me happy.”
When it comes to being a local business, Audrey said she is happy to be a part of the community. ““People love supporting local businesses. They’re just super excited about it. They were excited when I came and they were like ‘Finally! There’s nothing in Enfield to go to. We don’t have to go to Northampton or West Hartford.’ It’s something that’s here.”
Audrey continued, “I always try to bring in things that you can’t find at TJ Maxx or Marshall’s, or even in some of the other stores that are in Longmeadow. I try to keep it different. The more we have shops like this, the better off our community is. I just think it makes a cozier community.”
Audrey followed her dream, and she encourages others to do the same. “I always encourage people if they want to do it. Some people say, ‘Oh, I would love to have a boutique,’ and I say ‘You could! Just open one, there’s an empty spot right in the corner!’ So I always encourage them,” Audrey said.
Overall, Audrey said she hopes her customers find something they never knew they desired in her shop. “When you come in here, I hope you have nothing in mind and you find things you love. Sometimes, I have clients who say they have so much, they don’t know what to get. I tell them to pick and choose what they like best. Once in awhile, it’s nice to buy that little thing to have that you want,” Audrey said.
It’s not about the profit for Audrey, but feeling good. “I want everybody to enjoy something. For me, it’s not about the profitability; it’s about the enjoyment. I’m in my mid-50’s, so this is a second career of enjoying,” Audrey shared.
Audrey continued, “I get enjoyment out of coming to work every day and doing something that I love. When people come in the door, I love the interaction with customers and just seeing them go through the process of buying something in the store and feeling good about it.”
Next time you’re driving down Palomba Drive, make sure you stop by and celebrate The Eclectic Peacock’s birthday with Audrey and her girls. When it comes to shopping, it’s always a good time at The Eclectic Peacock.
The Eclectic Peacock • 74 Palomba Drive, Suite J • Enfield, CT
Hours: Wed. - Fri. 11:30am-6pm • Sat. 10am-5pm • SUN. 10am-3pm
860-965-7911 • Eclecticpeacock.com