Cristi Coryell always enjoyed browsing at boutiques and dreamed of having a little shop of her own. So she went for it—in the middle of a global pandemic. She opened The ButterCup in November 2020 in New Market. “I wasn’t unhappy before, but I wanted to do something different,” Coryell says. “I realized all of my jobs had a common denominator, and that was people.”
Opening during the pandemic turned out to be a blessing for Coryell, who figures there’s nothing quite like The ButterCup in downtown New Market.
“Everything seemed to come together in a way that would never make sense in most minds,” she adds.
When the shop opened, masks were required, making it harder for Coryell to get to know customers and employees. She’s since overcome that barrier and fostered beautiful relationships and friendships.
Coryell’s connection with New Market goes back to the ’90s, when she spent her high-school years there. After graduating, Coryell moved to the West Coast to attend college, first beginning a career teaching in Southern California and then getting into wine education in Napa Valley for 13 years.
After Coryell’s sister moved back to Virginia to raise a family after graduate school, Coryell began missing her nieces, so she, too, made the move back to the New Market community where she grew up. She still has a bit of that Cali vibe in her, though—her personal Instagram handle is @westcoast_southerngirl.
Coryell is proud that her shop carries mostly local lines of many different products—jewelry, soap, accessories, and even pacifiers. “The fact that we’re not just jewelry is something I’m proud of,” Coryell says. “We’re providing a platform for women to grow small businesses and a great platform to support other women in business.”
The clothing—mostly cute, casual pieces for women, like Judy Blue Jeans and butter-soft leggings—comes in sizes from XS to 3XL and jean sizes 0 to 24. “My favorite is when someone walks in and says, ‘You don’t have anything for me,’” says Coryell. “And I get to say, ‘No, but I do!’”
Work at The ButterCup is a family affair. Coryell’s mother helps at the shop a few times per week, bringing in a different age demographic. Coryell’s sister helps her with Facebook Live events a few times a week, and they also do personal shopping experiences on FaceTime, pulling items to send to customers. Each week, The ButterCup ships items to California, Nevada, Missouri, Florida, and more states.
“We are shipping to some degree already—we just don’t have a traditional online experience people expect to find,” Coryell says. “We are creating a curated shopping experience for our customers.” 9431 S. Congress St., New Market, thebuttercup.net
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