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Queen Esther’s Closet expands in Farmville

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Wanda Joyner joins her daughter, Micayah, 9; husband, Carlton; and family friend Laura Willoughby for a ribbon-cutting ceremony at her shop at 3729-1 W. Wilson St. in Farmville.

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Mike Grizzard

Monday, September 12, 2016

Wanda Joyner started Queen Esther’s Closet from the trunk of her car. Now just shy of its five-year anniversary, her business is expanding in downtown Farmville.

“I wanted to start small and gain some experience of managing a boutique,” Joyner said during the boutique’s ribbon-cutting ceremony in the former Curves location at 3729-1 W. Wilson St.

Joyner sold jewelry and accessories from the trunk of her car and her home for two years.

“My husband got tired of people coming to the house and noticed that my clientele was growing,” she said.

Taking a leap of faith, Joyner approached her former classmate, Patrick Hobbs, who owns the Duke building on Wilson Street, regarding a vacant storefront. Joyner opened her boutique in an 800-square-foot space in 2011, and her clientele continued to grow.

“It blossomed at the end of 2015 like it never had before, and I knew it was time to expand,” Joyner said. “I have gone from the trunk to the storefront and want to thank the customers who have been with me since the beginning.”

Queen Esther’s Closet carries a variety of items, including handbags, jewelry and ladies’ apparel. The boutique offers Tre’ska, Zenzii, Nicole Lee USA and Punch Studio items and caters to the plus-sized woman.

“I have lost a hundred pounds, but I am still a plus-size girl at heart and know that it is an everyday struggle,” Joyner said.

Elected officials appreciate Joyner’s commitment to Farmville.

“It is a rare occasion to celebrate an expansion, which says you are doing something right, and I know you will be successful beyond this,” Farmville Mayor Bobby Evans said.

Judy Gidley, the director of the Farmville Chamber of Commerce, has been a frequent shopper at Queen Esther’s Closet for years and is thrilled at the boutique’s success.

“They have grown and have the most awesome items,” Gidley said. “We are blessed to have Wanda as a merchant in this beautiful location.”

A minister at Bearing Fruit Ministries in Farmville, Joyner said her boutique’s name is inspired by the Bible story of Esther.

“I have been called Queen Esther, and I love to have a business with a name that builds up a woman and her self-esteem,” Joyner said.

Queen Esther’s peacock logo is derived from her love of peacocks and the creature’s colors, Joyner said.

“I love their colors and unique look. Peacocks are something of beauty,” she said.

Queen Esther’s Closet is open from 4-7 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and by appointment Monday and Tuesday. To make an appointment, call 315-2703.

To view products or for more information, search “Queen Esther’s Closet Inc.” on Facebook. Items may be ordered online and purchased through PayPal with shipping options available.

The Duke building, which opened in 2008, has served many start-up businesses. It has two office space units available and one storefront vacancy.

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Humans of Greenville

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Local photographer Joe Pellegrino explores Greenville to create a photographic census of its people.

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