When longtime Walla Walla business woman Karie Wilson set out to open a retail boutique, she wanted to fill it with must-haves for men and women. Hence the name of the new business: Gotta Have It.
The store opens today at 11 N. Second Ave., the former spot of North Star Comics.
After a top-to-bottom makeover in the space, including new flooring, wall color and lighting, Wilson added a wall of men’s and women’s Bandals flip-flops. She also carries jewelry, belts, Miche bags, women’s shapewear and home decor, and will soon offer high-end women’s wear line Christine Alexander, known for clothing and accessories designed with Swarovski elements.
For Wilson, the tag line to the Gotta Have It — “the perfect balance between want and need” — sums up her approach to the inventory.
“I want this store to be filled with things that everyone — ladies, men — want to have,” she said Tuesday as she prepared for opening day.
Wilson has long done business in Walla Walla. She was the original owner of the local women’s fitness facility Curves. She later built a home-based business as a distributor for Miche handbags, supplying the purses and bags to representatives all over Eastern Washington. When that company changed its model to no longer have separate distributors, Wilson continued to sell Miche under her own name, “Gotta Have It.”
Wilson plans to operate 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday. On other days when she’s working with inventory at the store she will likely also be open, she said.
A grand opening is planned for later this month. Wilson said a ribbon-cutting event will kick off the May 24 celebration, expected to run 6-9 p.m. Specials will be offered that weekend.