Editor’s note: September 25 is National Daughters’ Day! All month long, we’ve been highlighting mother-daughter duos who are collaborating to inspire the community and excel in business. Enjoy!
At a time when many brick-and-mortar clothing stores are closing their doors, The Pink Tulip has found a way to survive and thrive, offering customers shopping options both in-person and online. Most of all, Letty and Hadley Algren, the mother-daughter team behind The Pink Tulip, continue to make customers of all ages feel beautiful. Moved by how her mother always sacrificed for others, Letty wanted to build a boutique where everyday women — from trendy teenagers to stylish grandmothers — could find fashions for work and play. Get to know the women who keep The Pink Tulip blooming!
Letty, what inspired you to start The Pink Tulip back in 1986?
Letty: After working as a buyer for a local department store, Parisian, I wanted to venture out on my own. I wanted to create a store where my customers and employees felt at home. After watching my mom, I realized that women [often] put themselves last. Other responsibilities can come before them. I wanted women of all ages, shapes, and sizes to have a relaxed, fun atmosphere where they could shop and find clothing they feel good in.
Hadley, why did you want to join The Pink Tulip team and go into the family business?
Hadley: I’ve always loved clothing, and my major at The University of Alabama was Fashion Retailing. I grew up with The Pink Tulip as a family business and had already experienced many parts of it. When I graduated, I knew this was where I wanted to be!
What do you feel makes The Pink Tulip different from other boutiques?
Letty: We buy for women’s shapes and sizes, not ages. Hadley and I try on and feel every item that goes into the store to choose clothing that feels good and fits well. We also work hard to hire young women with great hearts who give the kind of service we desire to give. We hope every woman feels welcomed, encouraged, and styled with clothing that fits their taste.
Hadley: what sets us apart from other boutiques is our customer service. We try to instill in our girls an appreciation for every customer walking through our doors. We know that customers can shop in a multitude of places, and we want our staff to recognize and appreciate that our customers chose to be here.
How do you make The Pink Tulip a place where women can feel pampered?
Letty: We believe in touching the senses. We buy scent machines to make the store smell good, play upbeat, fun music, and plan fun displays and visuals seasonally. We want to create an experience where a woman can relax and have a little fun while trying on clothes. We want to take the work out of it for her!
Hadley: We try our best to brighten our customers’ days by being personable, uplifting, and encouraging. We know shopping is not fun for every woman, and we want to add that fun by helping them find things that flatter them. We believe in lifting women up and being their “hype girl!” Our ultimate goal is for our customers to get compliments when they wear our clothing.
What are some advantages and disadvantages of being a mother-daughter team?
Hadley: My mom and I started off rocky after graduating from Alabama. I quickly learned after about a month that I didn’t know as much as I thought I did! We butt heads a few times but had a real heart-to-heart where we both realized we were on the same page with common goals. So, in the last eight years (minus one month), we have had a lot of fun and a great connection that many moms and daughters don’t get the opportunity to have.
Letty: Hadley and I get along very well and have very similar tastes. Luckily, we have found a sweet spot by dividing duties, relying on and trusting each other to do those, all while genuinely getting along and having a lot of fun. There is always laughter in our office! We understand each other so well that when one of us is having a tough day or is stressed out, we know how to encourage or give help when needed.
Letty, what’s something you’ve learned from Hadley?
Letty: Hadley brings the youthful side of life — an enthusiasm and excitement for new things. She also brings fresh energy and many new ideas. Hadley is a great researcher and has developed our online presence through social media, marketing, and our website.
What fall looks are you most excited about?
Letty: We love the tones of fall mixed with lots of layers! Vests in all fabrics are a strong fall trend that’s especially great for our Southern weather. All we need is a little cooler weather to get us in the mood.
Hadley: My favorite fall trend this year is wide-collared sweaters. I love this year’s elevated fall look and lots of layered neutrals and muted colors.
What do you like to do when you’re not working?
Letty: I love to spend time at the lake with friends, relaxing and watching a good movie, taking long walks, and spending time in nature.
Hadley: I love spending time with my husband, two goldendoodles, and friends. Cooking is something both my husband and I enjoy doing together, along with traveling to spend time with our friends from college.
What do you love most about the Birmingham area?
Letty: I love the community and people in Birmingham. I love the vast choices of fun restaurants to try. Birmingham is a large city that feels small because of the amazing community.
Hadley: Birmingham has changed a lot over the years. I love the younger vibe with the breweries, new restaurants, and fun places to get wine with the girls.
What are some of your favorite restaurants in the Birmingham area?
What’s the last book you read?
Letty: The most recent book I’ve read is It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover.
Hadley: The most recent book I’ve read is Reminders of Him by Colleen Hoover.
Where was your last big vacation?
Letty: Rosemary Beach — the first time we’ve been on vacation, just the two of us! We relaxed, read books, and brought Hadley’s two goldendoodles.
Hadley: My last big vacation was to the Dominican for one of our best friend’s weddings.
What’s the best advice you’ve been given or the best advice you have to offer?
Letty: The best advice I would give is to pray over everything big and small. As my mom always said, let’s look on the bright side! She always tried to help me look for positive things, even in the midst of trying times.
Hadley: My biggest advice is to roll with the punches. You can look at each tough battle that comes your way as it’s too overwhelming, or you can break it apart and barrel through.
Other than faith, family, and friends, name three things you can’t live without.
Hadley: CELSIUS fitness drink, workout clothes, and my dogs.
Letty: Flowers, YouTube videos, and coloring on my iPad.
The Pink Tulip is located in downtown Homewood at 2848 18th St S, Homewood, AL 35209, and The Summit shopping center at 310 Summit Blvd #106, Birmingham, AL 35243.
All photography by Javacia Harris Bowser.
For more stories of inspirational women, visit our FACES archives!