6l9a2946-550?v=1

The Purple Butterfly Lands in Downtown Franklin

Article by Maria Dinoia

Photography by Sarah Mackenzie Photography

Originally published in Franklin Lifestyle

When you walk into the downtown children’s shop, you immediately get the sense that The Purple Butterfly is more than just a store. Owners Dale and Neil Budde have created something unique with their specialty children’s boutique.

But up until March 22, 2017, butterflies had very little meaning to Dale and purple certainly wasn’t her favorite color. “When my dad was in hospice, they put a purple butterfly on his door to indicate to the staff and visitors that a patient had gone on to a new life. That’s where I got the name for the store.” At the time, they just didn’t know it.

Upon the couple’s retirement two years later, they decided to move to Nashville to be near their grandchildren. Neil originally wanted to buy a sailboat and go sailing, but he acquiesced. Then they thought, “‘Why not open a store?”’

After buying thousands of dollars worth of merchandise at Atlanta’s market, they had no place to put it! So they drove straight from Atlanta to downtown Franklin to find a place. Dale says, “I knew I wanted to be one of the cute little shops in Franklin.” After several meetings and phone calls with realtors, it wasn’t looking as if that dream was going to come to fruition. Until it did. “A realtor called me back and said, ‘I have a friend with some space and I don’t know what he’s going to do with it. Give him a call.’” And The Purple Butterfly was born from a former spa space on 2nd Avenue North.

“The space was perfect. I looked up and said, ‘Thank you, Dad.’” Dale adds, “It just evolved. The Purple Butterfly found us.”

“Our space is more than just a retail store. People love coming here and sharing their stories with us. We hear lots of grandma stories, baby stories. It’s just a place children want to come because they have fun and they know they are welcome,” says Dale. Neil continues, “Earning a living is secondary. Being a great business and giving back to the community is first and foremost.”

The Purple Butterfly does free, custom monogramming on any item purchased in the store, something the community has embraced. Neil, as founder of The Wall Street Journal Online, has a really good design eye and strong computer skills, so it was a natural fit for him to handle the embroidery. But the duo collaborates on designs and Dale helps with placement. Neil continues, “It’s a niche we have because we don’t charge for it on items purchased in the store. If you bring something else, it’s $15 an item. And we do a ton of custom design, especially for birthdays. You can bring us an invitation and we can pick up
artwork from the invitation and put it on to a shirt for the birthday child.”

Customer Claire Burch says she enjoys shopping there because of the “incredible customer service. They go above and beyond. It means a lot. When {my daughter} Elouise was born, I didn’t know if I was having a boy or girl. I had my daughter at 4:00 AM. My mom called the store before it was even open to let them know and they got to monogramming. My mom brought it to me in the hospital and I had something special for Elouise to wear when I brought her home.”

Perhaps most poignant is their granddaughter’s handwriting that they monogrammed onto a napkin. She wrote ‘Erika loves Daddy’ and Dale says she’s saving it for when Erika gets married and is going to give it to her son.

The couple knows giving back feels good. They host special events such as monthly story times and face painting, live bunnies on the porch at Easter and more. The most recent event was a unique Nearly New Year’s Eve Party attended by 180 children, parents, and grandparents.

Customer Allison Schumacher sums it up perfectly. “I love shopping here. Everything is adorable. The monogramming. They are quick. And they are always  willing to help.” PurpleButterflyKids.com

Businesses Featured in this Article

Related Businesses

The Nelson-Atkins Museum

Community Services

The Nelson-Atkins Museum

Kansas City, MO

The Nelson-Atkins is a comprehensive art museum with works of art dating from ancient to contemporary.

Animal Hospital of West Chester

Pet Services

Animal Hospital of West Chester

West Chester, OH

We are a full service medical and surgical veterinary hospital for all types of cats and dogs and specialize in taking care...

The Fetchington Luxury Pet Hotel

Pet Services

The Fetchington Luxury Pet Hotel

West Chester, OH

See More

Related Articles

See More