Hillsborough welcomes the stylings of Robin Turner and the Say Wear Boutique. The women’s clothing store can be found on Churton street next to the Hillsborough Habitat Restore. With a successful career in residential concrete, Turner has always dreamed of a life in fashion. “As a child, I wanted to be a clothing designer. I would draw sketches of sweaters, jeans, and pants,” explained Turner. Beginning as a part-time passion, Turner traveled to pop up shows and held private shopping events from her own home before venturing to open her own storefront.
Life for Turner and her family dramatically changed when it was discovered that her daughter, Samantha Piotrowski, needed brain surgery. “I was doing concrete for a living and didn’t want to be on the road all the time,” said Turner. Making the switch from residential to commercial concrete allowed Turner more time with her family and the opportunity to grow Say Wear. “I [had] been doing the boutique thing, but it was a little bit here and a little bit there,” explained Turner. “After we got through everything with [Samantha], [the shop] started getting busier and busier.” Working tirelessly to prepare for their grand opening, the Say Wear team spent many sleepless nights painting, wallpapering, staining, and hanging shelves.
Opening their doors on Black Friday 2020, Turner was overwhelmed with the community’s response and support. “People came from everywhere. It felt like a lot of love in this place,” noted Turner. With the help of her daughter, cousin Carla Stewart, best friend Lynn Clippinger, and mother Doris Turner, the boutique has become a family affair. “My mom is usually here a lot,” said Turner. “She’s retired and will sit and talk with people. She loves it. That is great for me because now I get to spend a lot more time with her.”
Say Wear is more than a clothing store for Turner; instead, it is a purpose. As a single mother, she has faced many obstacles and frustrations. From parental alienation to the family court system’s failings, Turner has fought to bring awareness to the issues. “Single moms, that’s where my heart is,” explained Turner. “Say Wear was intended to be a clothing apparel company [where] single mothers could buy a T-shirt and tell a story.” Turner dreams of creating a specialty clothing line showcasing the true spirit of single moms. She goes on to say, “my first t-shirt design [is] going to have a mom dressed up as Wonder Woman because I think that is the closest figure to what a single mom, or any mother, would be.” While Turner continues to work on her designs, she and her Say Wear team focus on creating a positive shopping experience for all women. “My goal is to have something for everybody,” explained Turner. “Whether you are young, old, a teenager - I want you to be able to walk into my store and find something.”
Say Wear is among the few businesses to open a storefront amid a global pandemic. While Tuner continues to battle the unprecedented times that is COVID-19, her grit and fierce passion for the Say Wear mission presses on. “In life, we sometimes live the unexpected,” said Turner. “Live for today, love one another, always show kindness, keep the faith, and most of all, never give up!”