Just another project

Published 4:14 pm Thursday, July 15, 2010

People who knew Abby Adams before she opened her new store, Collage Boutique, would likely say she had her hands full.

After all, taking full-time masters courses and teaching part time at Troy University seem to be enough to keep anyone busy. but Adams didn’t see it that way.

“I’m the kind of person I have to be doing 10 things at one time,” Adams said.

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“I am in school full time and teaching math part time at the university, but I was still kind of bored.”

So Adams, no stranger to the business world, decided to start what is her newest business venture in opening Collage Boutique, next to Mikata on U.S. Highway 231.

Adams first graduated from Troy University with her undergraduate degree in education before she moved to Birmingham to teach school. Still, that wasn’t enough for the businesswoman at heart who started a pet store, Molly and Max, which she still owns in Birmingham.

“When I came down here I was missing my store so badly, and I always wanted to open a gift store,” she said.

“And when I get an idea, I just start on it the next day. So I went to market the next week and started buying things for the store.”

While Adams knew she wanted to open a gift store, she couldn’t exactly narrow it down one thing she wanted to sell. That explains why a range of items can be found — rain boots, purses, wall decorations, pet leashes, clothes, jewelry, children’s toys — just to name a few.

“The reason I called it Collage is because I couldn’t pin down on thing I wanted it to be — it’s a little bit of everything,” Adams said.

“I wanted to do something a little different like the pet stuff because that’s really close to my heart. I picked stuff I like. Everything is something I think is neat and a lot of it I would like to have myself.”

Adams said what she enjoys most about owning her own business is the community that comes with it.

“When I hired someone to run my store full time, I didn’t realize how much I’d miss it,” Adams said. “I just really miss the day to day interaction with customers and getting repeat customers.”

Adams, in fact, has had several business ventures. She had a tutoring business she ran for 10 years and a T-shirt business, where she made T-shirts with pets on them.

“My friends say I’m a compulsive business starter,” she said. “I’m not one of those people who would enjoy getting a job out of college and staying there for 30 years. I like to switch it up and keep life interesting.”

But, while Adams likes to keep her life changing, she’s hoping to settle in Troy for at least a while.

“I am teaching part-time now, and I love it so much it doesn’t even feel like work,” Adams said. “I hope to keep doing that for a while and running the business.”