Picket Fence opens to offer monogrammed gifts and clothing
Story by Brianna Willis, Contributing writer
Many Murray State students are familiar with the smells of sizzling fajitas and fresh chips and queso at Los Portales, but not with the lavender and eucalyptus scents that waft throughout the store Picket Fence, which lies just next door.
For a store that has only been open since Feb. 5, it offers a unique shopping experience not everyone may be familiar with.
At first glance the shop has monogrammed clothing, hats and totes to fill the front window.
Upon entering however, customers are greeted with much more than a clothing store. Soaps, lotions, bath bombs, unique jewelry and canvas art fill half of the store.
Catering to a mostly southern, college age audience, Picket Fence carries items such as Yeti coolers and canvas art with phrases such as “Sweet Tea Served Here.”
Owner Jennifer Riley wanted something college students would enjoy and purchase, so along with bath and body items and wall art, she chose to sell monogrammed clothes.
She taught herself to monogram and offers Comfort Colors clothing as well as totes. Picket Fence will monogram items customers bring in. Monogramming starts at $8 and up based on the design and the item.
She said she enjoys the monogramming aspect, but the most important part to her, she said, is supporting non-profit organizations.
Picket Fence currently carries items from 13 “give-back” companies, meaning that when customers buy an item from one of those companies, some of the proceeds go toward to funding their philanthropic efforts.
When customers buy a bar of soap from Hand in Hand, the proceeds go to donate one bar of soap and a month of clean water to a child in a developing country.
Her mother worked in retail and Riley said she grew up learning to appreciate fashion.
After her children were born, Riley quit her teaching job and got involved in youth ministry at her local church.
This grew into her eventually becoming a full-time youth ministry director in Murray and having a passion for helping those in need.
“I wanted to do something different,” Riley said. “I guess I just wanted to find a way to combine my love for ministry and helping others, with my love of shopping.”
She said she chose the name “Picket Fence” because it symbolizes neighborhood.
“Everyone wants their own version of the ‘white picket fence’ so whatever that version is for you, we just hope that we can help you make that, and then help others that are less fortunate,” she said.
She said it took a lot of research to piece together different “give-back” companies that would combine well to create a cohesive shopping experience.
Riley also said the ultimate goal of Picket Fence is that proceeds of the monogramming will go to local organizations in Murray, so that 100 percent of the items purchased benefit others in need.
She said she wants students of Murray State to know when they buy an item from Picket Fence, they are helping those who may not be fortunate enough to enroll in a university.
Riley hopes Murray State students enjoy helping others and looking fashionable while doing so.