Shop with Purpose this Christmas Season

3:Sixteen Boutique Shares How God Led Them Into The Retail Shop They Never Dreamed Of

Article by Amber Cowan and Mandy Winfree

Photography by 3:Sixteen Boutique

Originally published in Lebanon City Lifestyle

Our friendship began over 22 years ago.  We began teaching at the same school, and our friendship clicked and we truly became more like sisters. We literally do everything together. We vacation, workout, go to church, and obviously we run a small business together. We get asked all the time “How do you all spend so much time together and still get along so well?” We can honestly say our unique friendship is a total God thing! We honestly work better together. Even though we spend a lot of time together, we don’t get tired of each other. We realize it’s weird, but it works for us! 

How did 3:Sixteen become a boutique? 

We were teaching 6th grade, Amber math and Mandy science, and always thought we’d teach until we retired. Mandy always wanted to own a boutique, but never really thought she’d do it and knew she didn’t want to do it alone. Another amazing small business owner in town approached us about possibly buying her business one day. We had taught her children and she had the confidence that we could “rock a boutique”. She really gave us the confidence we needed to do it. God opened that door and we were at a place where we were ready to run out screaming, yes, Lord, yes. Then... Holy Cow this is happening!!!

We found the perfect location, met with the owner, again thinking there was no way we’d be able to afford this, but God had other plans. We couldn’t ask for a better landlord, y’all! We signed the lease on our dream on March 17th, 2017 and renovations began. So, we turned in our resignations at school and we’re pretty sure people thought we’d lost our minds! 

We knew we wanted our name to be scripture, but we struggled to find just the right one. Every scripture we thought about we loved and just couldn’t decide. Until one day it hit us, everything in this world comes back to John 3:16. For God so loved the world He gave His one and only son, that whomever believes in Him, shall not perish, but have everlasting life. If it wasn’t for Jesus nothing would matter.

So, we decided on 3:Sixteen. We began purchasing, went to our first market, and literally set up shop in the bonus room of Mandy’s house! We’d have parties with our teacher friends and sell items we had! On September 3, 2017, we opened the doors to our storefront and the rest is history!

Our mission is to shine the light of Jesus in this world every day. We want to serve our customers and give back to our community. The greatest compliment we receive about 3:Sixteen is that people love coming into our store because they feel at home and some peace in a crazy world!

We love to help the community as much as we can, often donating to a special friend from Cedarcroft, to All for Him ministry, and sponsoring school related activities. We also love to support our amazing Wilson County and Lebanon City teachers with our annual teacher's shopping event just before school starts in the fall.

We are absolutely content with what we've been blessed with in having a single storefront. It allows us to have genuine, authentic conversations with our customers which in turn gives us the opportunity to share our faith which is what our whole store is founded on. In the next few years, we hope to continue to offer our customers unique giftables and clothes. If God sees fit to extend the opportunity to expand with other stores in other communities, we will take that blessing and return it by being His servants through the work we do. 

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