The Heart Behind Hazel's Haven
Hi! Welcome to Hazel’s Haven. I am Meagan Matlock, co-owner, buyer & stylist. HH will be 11 this November. Wow…we have gone through soooo many clothes and fashion trends but what I love mostly when looking back through photos is that much of what we have chosen to sell and style our clientele withstands the test of time.
In fact, one of my favorite things to hear is “I got this when you first opened…”. Our focus has always been about quality for what the item is and offering it at a price that is honest and fair.
Here’s a little history about myself and this career path I’ve been on for 20+ years.
I first got my taste of retail when I was a teenager. I was part of the crew that helped open Abercrombie in my hometown’s mall. I even worked at Gap for a short time. Then, I was recruited to come work at Warren’s (which is a family-owned, Arkansas-based shoe store). Never ever doubt that God is working in your life. I look back now and clearly see his blessings over my life. A life that I never want to compare to anyone else’s. (I say that because we live in a society that, I feel, gets too caught up in other’s highlight reel.) For one, Eric (the guy who hired me and I became his co-manager eventually) and John (the owner) saw something in me and helped me grow in confidence when it came to building genuine relationships with our customers. Not to mention, just tons of life & retail knowledge. I also met one of my very dearest friends while working there. See, I told you that God always has a plan. I am a loyalist. To this day I collaborate with Warren’s and will always sing their praises and give credit where it’s due.
During my time at Warren’s I started a style blog. I shared all kinds of styling advice and inspiration. I teamed up with local shops and supported them when I had a client to personal shop for. I would go into a client’s closet and renew her outlook on her wardrobe by creating new outfits that she never thought of plus added new pieces to it that I felt she was lacking. I helped women pack for vacations or dress them (hair and makeup included) for special occasions. Then, I had my daughter at 29. I quit Warren’s and I eventually quit writing and styling. I was all in on being a mom. My husband and I had a hard time conceiving so when Haven came into our lives, she became my focus. I was fortunate (but boy things were tight financially!! But remember, He always provides!!) to be able to stay home with Haven that first year of her life.
Since I was a teenager, I dreamt of having my own store. I’ll spare you many details, but my husband was the sole influence on taking that leap of faith with my mom and just DOING IT. So, the weekend of Haven’s first birthday, we opened our doors for business.
I do not say this next part to boast, instead to just tell you that if you have a deep desire or passion to do something in your life and you plant the seeds and put in the honest work you CAN achieve it. Our grand opening day, we opened at noon and closed around 6. I remember praying people would come and like what we had chosen. To my utter shock, we had a line out the door…we stayed consistently busy all day. I had wonderful friends who came and helped me ring people up and assist them in any way we could. Ha! I was so underprepared. As a brand new business I didn’t have any employees so I can’t express enough how grateful I was to have so many willing helping hands.
From day one we were “off to the races.” It’s honestly a blur. I had Haven with me at the store until being an intentional mom AND trying to run the shop got to be entirely too much so when she was around 16 months, I enrolled her into a Mother’s Day out program. About 3 months in, Lynna walked into HH, I offered her a job and she wound up staying by my side, making HH so special - a part of so many milestones - for 10 years. Remember earlier how I mentioned to give credit where it’s due? Lynna. How could I ever repay her for her loyalty to my mom and I? We grew HH together. Together we figured out point of sale systems, websites, work flow processes…. We shared a lot of life alongside one another. We held each other accountable. We laughed. We cried. We were oftentimes delirious because that’s what retail does to you. It’s not often that you have people in your life who are loyal or even understand the value of loyalty and dedication. But Lynna. She gets it. I know that no matter what she does or who she works for or with, she will not fail them. She has a heart of gold and I am eternally grateful for her heart and work ethic and the 10 years she gave me.
Cut to now. 2023. We survived the Covid era (ugh. I hate that word.) and have been climbing our way back up. I have been blessed with employees. Young, cute things who enjoy retail and Tatum, who took over Lynna’s role. I have watched Tatum grow into such a kind, gracious, calm-to-my-crazy, confident, mature, beautiful young woman. At HH, we are a team. There’s none of that power trip stuff. We just go to work and give it our best every single day. We get to encourage and love on women every day. I invest into my employees so that they can then invest into our clientele, like I have done all my retail life.
This space is new for us. I would absolutely love to hear from you. What would you like me to blog about? Any particular styling tips? You can email us at email@example.com or direct message us via our Instagram and Facebook.