Butterfly Lane downtown Fulton’s newest retail addition

by Benita Fuzzell
Gabriella Buckingham’s Butterfly Lane will open Fri., March 8 on Lake Street, downtown Fulton. (Photo by Benita Fuzzell) Gabriella Buckingham’s Butterfly Lane will open Fri., March 8 on Lake Street, downtown Fulton. (Photo by Benita Fuzzell)

When Gabriella Buckingham was asked in school at Hickman County, to list what she wanted to be when she grew up, unlike the typical responses of teacher, doctor, lawyer or mom, she said she wanted to be an entrepreneur.

“I knew I wanted to work for myself, and I knew college was just not for me. I have seen some of my friends go in to debt from college tuition, and then still not end up using what they learned, in the field they originally wanted. My dad went to college for four years, and he never ended up having a career in what his studies included. He works for himself now. I always knew that’s what I wanted to do,” she said.

She wasn’t necessarily sure what type business she wanted to own and manage, until as a high school junior, she went to work for Teresa Wright, at her store, Two Doors Down, on Lake Street in Fulton.

There Gabriella learned to love the clothing and accessory lines, and enjoyed making selections at market. She was schooled in hands-on experiences in business management, and took each lesson to heart. At one time, plans were discussed for her to purchase Wright’s store, when she chose to retire.

Gabriella worked for Teresa for 3 1/2 years.

When the storefront next to Wright was vacated recently, and Wright decided to wait a little longer to retire, and according to Gabriella, told her to “go for it”, the young entrepreneur did just that, and located right next door to her mentor.

Butterfly Lane, at 432 Lake St., downtown Fulton, will open for business this Friday, March 8, and that day, as well as March 9, Gabriella will welcome shoppers with trendy fashions, accessories, affordable designer-influenced detergents and cleaning supplies, shoes, jewelry and more, for the ladies, ages 15-30, as well as for the gentlemen, ages 15 and older.

“We do have lots of things that ladies older than 30 will love to wear, but I just decided to tap in to a different market, with the older pre-teen, teen and young adults. We will carry really trendy clothing, from casual to dressy. I also wanted to sell an affordable men’s line, so I am excited to have that.

Butterfly Lane, a name suggested by Gabriella’s paternal grandmother, from her granddaughter’s lifelong obsession with butterflies, will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday-Friday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays. The telephone number for the business is 270-309-0131.

Gabriella is the daughter of Stacey and Barbara Rozzell Buckingham, both of whom have helped with the cosmetic improvements made to the store, from painting, installation of shelving and displays, to her dad’s construction of dressing rooms.

Her mother, Barbara, will be on hand Friday and Saturday to help her daughter welcome shoppers and serve refreshments.

Gabriella plans to also utilize “Online World” to market her products, and is keeping options open for future expansions, such as broadening the menswear line and possibly including children’s clothing.

As for now, the young business woman, who will turn 20 next month, wants to encourage shoppers to visit, and patronize small businesses as much as possible.

“I was born here, and raised here, in Fulton County, close to Cayce. I never had the notion to want to leave here. I was not one of those kids who would say they could not wait to move away because I love it here. My dad built our house, and he has built a great farm where I grew up. I would love to one day build a house, close to where my parents live. That’s just how I have always felt,” she said.

Gabriella graduated from Hickman County High School, the same school system where her mother is a teacher. Her sister, who chose the college route, has now begun her first teaching job within the Fulton County School District.

“I am doing what I always wanted to do. I am happy here,” she said.