by Luke Osteen
With a name like The Mountain Mermaid, you know you’re in for an enchanting shopping experience, coupled with a healthy dose of whimsy.
That’s the effect owner Becca Burch is aiming for, and she’s had a lifetime to fashion the image.
A fifth-generation Boca Grande Islander, she grew up working in her mother’s two clothing stores on the famous resort destination.
“I was going to buying shows in New York and Atlanta when I was three, so I know the business pretty well,” Becca says. “And since my parents own property in Highlands, I knew this area pretty well, also, since we’d always summer here.”
In fact, it was a visit to Highlands last year that convinced Becca to take the big step into owning her own business.
“I was just sitting outside, drinking a cup of coffee, when I thought how peaceful everything was, and how I wanted to be a part of that,” she says.
She considered opening a women’s apparel store in either Highlands or Cashiers, but the possibilities seemed greater in Cashiers.
“I liked the idea of having a building that was separate from other shops, that I could really make my own,” she says. “I wanted to stock it with lines that no else had, so Cashiers seemed like a more natural fit.”
And she’s stocked her boutique with lines that reflect her sense of style and comfort and quality.
For instance, shoppers can expect to find a full range of St. James styles. This French-made line has won an international reputation for its carefully composed sweaters and tops, maintaining its fashion fundamentals and timeless styles.
In much the same way a mermaid would browse through an undersea garden, a shopper can’t resist being drawn through the rooms behind the showroom, encountering scarves, shoes, resort wear, and athleisure wear.
Among the collection are the eye-catching resort styles of IBKUL, a line that features UPF 50, the IceFil cooling element (which can cool the body five degrees in normal use), underarm mesh treatment along with wicking and anti-microbial features in exclusive prints and patterns.
“I want to offer clothing that’s unique to our area, while complementing the two shops that are our neighbors — The Look and Sashay Around,” says Becca. “This is a place where you can relax and browse, just like the feeling that you get from Cashiers itself.”
The Mountain Mermaid is offering a 30 percent off sale on selected items through the end of November. It’s located on 107 North, approximately 100 yards from the Crossroads. For more information, call (828) 743-0444 (but you really should stop in to fully comprehend what this boutique has to offer).