Hi! I'm Kristen and I own Mae Lee's.
I am a born and raised Knoxville girl. When I was in my early 20’s I decided to sow my wild oats, so a friend and I packed up and moved to Seattle. I had the most amazing time and some incredible experiences. After about 8 years in Seattle, I moved to Savannah. I was really missing Tennessee and luckily my husband had always wanted to live in the mountains.
If you had ever told me I was going to open a clothing store I would have looked at you like you were crazy. Having done restaurant work my whole life, my original dream was to open an Asian restaurant as an homage to my grandfather. My dad’s dad was Chinese and I never got to meet him. He was always this fascinating mystery to me so I always thought I would open a funky Asian place and name it after him. Those stars never aligned though and one day while driving home from work the boutique idea popped into my head. Everything just made since. I immediately saw the store in my mind. How it would look. The type of clothes I wanted to offer. It was definitely a “what have I been waiting on” kind of moment.
The Kerns building popped up on my social media soon after and within less than a month I had signed a lease. Covid slowed things down of course, and pushed back the original opening date, but I have been able to take advantage of the extra time.
Going ahead and starting the website, and being able to do pop ups for the last couple of years has been immensely helpful. It has allowed me to learn so much. I feel like I’ve already developed a great clientele and I’ve met so many awesome people. Deciding to open Mae Lee’s has been the best decision of my life. I’m so grateful for the support and encouragement I’ve received and I can’t wait to get open in Kerns!!