“It’s home décor, apparel and gift, and it’s just really carefully curated brands that I absolutely love,” says owner and founder Michelle Kammer. “I try to buy as much product that I can that’s made in the U.S.A. I like to add in a few local brands and designers, things that are made in Washington or the Northwest, but I also carry quite a few big brands.”
Dolly Mama Boutique wasn’t always the store that it is today.
“I started Dolly Mama Designs, which is a lifestyle brand. It’s hats and visors for women, mostly golf and tennis,” Kammer explains. “My lady friends just kept coming by and buying things and saying, ‘You should have more stuff. You should have more stuff. We want to buy stuff.'”
That led to Kammer opening Dolly Mama Boutique approximately nine years ago. Then, the store just kept growing. Dolly Mama expanded to more of the building it was in, and six years ago Kammer opened a second store, Dolly Mama Too, on Harborview Drive.
Now, Kammer has her sights set on something even bigger. “I’m also considering franchising Dolly Mama countrywide,” she says. Her business may transform into a nationwide enterprise — and it all started with women’s hats.
While growing Dolly Mama Boutique, Kammer has also used the business to invest in the community. “One of the things that I think is really important about us is we have a heart in our logo,” she says. “Our little tagline is ‘a boutique with a heart.’ So, we like to do a lot of things for local charities and local businesses. Last year, every month, we’d take a different business, and we’d promote them.” It was a way to aid other businesses in the community.
Another vibrant part of the Dolly Mama Boutique community is the employees, whom Kammer calls her “dollies.”
“My fabulous staff of ‘dollies’ make my boutiques feel like a home away from home for our clients,” she says. “The dollies make everyone feel welcome and part of our Dolly Mama family.”
In addition to the business community, Kammer also uses Dolly Mama Boutique for charity. The business donates parties that get auctioned off at charitable events. As many as 20 to 30 women come to these after-hour parties.
“They get bubbles, and charcuterie and chocolate,” Kammer says. “Then, they get to shop, and they all get a discount. It’s just a fun way to have a party here versus their own home. They don’t have to clean, cook or do anything. They just come here, and hang out and chat.”
Likewise, the community has been very supportive of Dolly Mama Boutique. “During the pandemic, we were trying to keep afloat,” Kammer says. “So, we would deliver and say, ‘If you need any gifts, we’ll deliver them for you,’ and people were calling and ordering gift cards just to give us money to keep us in business. It was really sweet. It was really amazing.”
The inter-communal love between Dolly Mama Boutique and Gig Harbor, in addition to the beautiful merchandise, is what makes the business such a wonderful place to shop.