BY JACLYN ROSE –
Family is of utmost importance to Kayla and Tate Mendoza. Both born and raised in Polk County, and raised friends, they graduated from Mena High School in 2006. “Tate and I didn’t date in high school, we dated in junior high and then we hung out during our freshman year of college and began a long distance relationship,” explained Mendoza. The couple completed their education, Kayla receiving a Bachelor’s of Science in Education with an emphasis in Family and Consumer Science from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville and Tate receiving a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing and Management from Tennessee. They married in 2010 and moved back to Polk County where Tate took a job as a pallet salesman for Smith Pallet and Kayla worked at Union Bank and then selling insurance before becoming the Family and Consumer Science teacher for Cossatot River School District for three years. “Tate and I have been friends our entire life, our relationship started on a whim and grew to so much more,” said Mendoza.
When the Mendozas added their daughter, Blair, to the family in 2014, Kayla knew she wanted to be back in Mena, and work closer to her daughter. Always a fashion enthusiast, her dream was to open a children’s boutique and jumped at the opportunity to purchase Herod’s Department Store. “I knew that I could never compete with Herod’s when it came to a children’s boutique, so when I heard they were for sale, I called them and we purchased it in October of 2014. The store was very well taken care of and established,” Mendoza explained.
The Main Street Shoppe opened at 821 Mena Street on March 20, 2015 after a full remodel of the building. With a focus on family, the store offers a wide selection of clothing and accessories, with something for everyone. From baby gifts and newborn gift registries, to infant clothing, shoes and accessories for boys and girls. They also offer a selection of children’s clothing up to size seven and an ever growing tween selection from sizes seven to sixteen. For men, they offer a wide variety of jeans, including Wranglers, work shirts and every day shirts. They are expanding their men’s selection this fall to include jackets, including Carhart brand and they offer tuxedo rentals for special events. The Main Street Shoppe also has an impressive selection of stylish ladies’ clothing, shoes, and accessories with an emphasis on quality, fit, and comfort, while being easy to maintain. Additionally, the Main Street Shoppe offers monogramming and custom baby bedding created by Kayla’s aunt, Lisa Summerford, an Assistant Dean of Fulbright College at the University of Arkansas with a Fashion Merchandising Degree and her business, Beema Bedding.
Kayla’s mother, Tracy Hensley, serves as her sounding board and advisor, helping her to create an ambiance and a sense of community in the store, remembering the way some of the previous local boutiques, such as Adam and Eve and Karen’s did things. “Kayla would’ve loved to be a stylist, that is where her passion is. My other daughter, Brooke, and I can put together an outfit but Kayla always knows that one little thing to add to make it perfect. She does that with everyone that comes in to the store, she wants shopping to be an experience and for people to feel good about what they wear,” explained Hensley.
“Our focus at The Main Street Shoppe is on family, our children are our models and we always say that Blair will be the shopkeeper one day. We want our customers to be comfortable in here, our children are always here, and we are very kid friendly. There is always a basket of toys in the back. We want to be able to have a store that our community can come in and buy a baby gift and clothe the entire family. You don’t have to go out of town to shop, we can dress you for a wedding and for work,” Mendoza explained.
“Tate and I always say that we like being somewhere close to our families. We love the outdoors, we love to go to the lake and ride four wheelers and hunt, well, Tate hunts, I don’t,” said Mendoza with a smile.
The Main Street Shoppe is open Monday through Friday from 10 am until 6 pm and Saturday from 10 am until 2 pm. You can reach them at 479.394.4864 or by visiting their website at www.shopthemainstshoppe.com. They also offer giveaways, deals, and specials on their Facebook page www.facebook.com/themainstreetshoppe and Instagram with the handle, @themainstshoppe.