The Story of Council

The Story of Council



As celebrations are approaching for Council’s 6th year in Columbus, I thought it was time to retell our story. It’s easy to forget how far we’ve come and how much we have grown when I get in the daily grind, but it has been refreshing to look back and remember why, how, when we started and what brought us to this point.



I was living in Nashville, TN in 2014 and working for Jimmy Choo when I decided to take the leap and start Council. I’d been traveling back and forth to Columbus almost every month in my time off to bring new, exciting pieces to clients here and style them for events, vacations, their life! I put the pen to paper to gauge what I needed to make ends meet and get this thing off the ground. I had a few dedicated clients who I knew would help me get there. At first, Council Wardrobe Studio was just that. A small, appointment-based studio with a cozy meeting area, rolling rack and fitting room. It was a place I could meet with clients and host trunk shows. Council was a service-based business then with no inventory. I offered personal shopping, wardrobe styling and closet edits. After working with a few clients, I realized the pieces I was constantly looking for were hard to find. I started to go to New York market and buy a small sprinkling of inventory for the studio. It primarily consisted of the classic wardrobe staples; a great fitting pair of jeans (yes, Black Orchid Denim has been with us since the very beginning), high quality tees, leather jackets and great accessories (hey, Janessa Leone). As things began to sell quickly, I built the inventory up and started to have regular hours. But life has a way of shifting, and when I became pregnant with our daughter, I decided to downsize. My husband was working full time, while we also ran a vacation rental company and managed 25+ Airbnb’s. It was a crazy time looking back. I was helping furnish rentals and communicating with guests. Council took a backseat.



I moved my little studio to our basement in 2016, and transformed back into appointment and online only while we welcomed a new baby. I had a huge sale to clear things out as we planned a move to Columbus, GA. I really didn’t know the future of Council, but with no staff, a new baby and a big move, I gave myself grace to let it be and would decide after the move if Columbus would really support something like Council. We made the move in April, and by October I had a small studio rented in Bibb City. I opened two mornings a week while our daughter was in preschool. After a few short months, I heard over and over how much Columbus has needed something like this and clients were begging for a larger selection. So, on May 22, 2018 we opened our doors at 1141 1st Ave! It was such a dream come true. We rocked it for 5 years there, and I learned so much about the ups and downs of business. After barely surviving Covid times, we were on the other side and feeling confident about expansion when the offer came to move the store to a new development, Highside Market.


Designing the new store and getting prepared to open a larger, more visible location was so exciting and took every ounce of energy last year to make it what it is. Having a larger, more private fitting room area, more square footage and more inventory, an updated logo and brand identity are just a few things that have made this feel like the next level for us. I finally feel like it’s becoming one of those cool stores I loved to shop so much when I started getting serious about building my wardrobe.


See, when I was in my early 20’s working and hustling to make rent and have extra to buy new clothes, I was just buying what I thought I could afford at the time. I hit up H&M, Forever 21 and the like to get my fix for a new top or dress for my weekend plans. It wasn’t long before I got tired of wasting money on those cheap clothes. They fell apart, or I would see other people in the same dress, it was no fun shopping in those places with too many clothes crammed on the racks and stuff thrown on the floor. I realized I was way happier to shop for and wear nice boutique pieces even if it meant saving up for a little longer. I saw how wearing quality clothing that I really loved made me feel differently. I was investing in my wardrobe, yes, but also in myself. Building a wardrobe is like building an art collection. You can’t do it overnight. It means collecting pieces that bring out the best in you and make you feel like the best version of yourself. Respecting the process from that initial sketch from the designer to the thoughtful fabric sourcing, careful construction and finally the moment you slip it on and get that feeling of bubbly happiness. That is why Council’s metamorphosis simply had to continue, and still I feel the best is yet to come.


 To all of the women who walk in curious if their next favorite outfit or special wardrobe staple is waiting for them on the rack, thank you. Thank you for walking in, or getting online, and trusting us with the privilege to dress you for life. You are why we are able to do what we do and provide beautiful pieces that are made to help you shine.

I feel so grateful to say, a decade later, we are still helping build wardrobes and boost confidence!


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