Meet Sharon Clayton

By Leslie Moore

Meet Sharon Clayton

One of the first things you learn about Sharon Clayton is that she has a big heart. A native of the Washington D.C. area, Sharon and her husband, Michael, own a vacation home in Myrtle Beach, and her two sons live here year-round; Nicholas is a senior at CCU and Tony is a recent graduate. What is not well known – and she’ll never tell – is how much Sharon does for members of our community that need a helping hand, a hug or just a smile. This philanthropic-minded woman owns Frugal Princess, a small boutique in Myrtle Beach that donates all of its profits to charity.

Sharon, how did you come up with the idea of opening the Frugal Princess?

There is no one reason I opened Frugal Princess, but I do feel a need to give back – and I love to shop! My merchandise comes from many sources; I buy designer samples in Atlanta and New York, shop sales throughout my travels and accept donations from outside of the area. We are not a consignment or thrift shop – I have accepted a few “gently loved” pieces, but they are like new, dry-cleaned and ready to wear – and not from anyone in this area. Most importantly, I am tied to the Myrtle Beach area because Nicholas and Tony are here. I tell people I followed my sons to college!

Everyone is not a size 2, so I stock all sizes, even curvaceous sizes, and my customers range in age from teenagers to women in their 80s. I strive to find unique pieces to the area. Prices are great, too, ranging from around $20 to $60. I only open Thursdays and Fridays seasonally, but people make an effort to come when I’m here. I think it’s the thrill of the hunt, you just never know what treasures you’ll find!

Why give all the profits to local charities?

Volunteering has always been a part of what our family does. I used to help purchase clothing for children in Northern Virginia. People always donated for the little ones, but not so much for teens. And, if they did, there was no guarantee anything would fit. Now, I can buy things on sale and help others. Teenagers come in that have never set foot in a boutique – they have no idea how to shop here. By the time they leave, they are smiling and having a good time. And, my profits go mainly to charities that focus on helping women in the area, plus some private donations where it’s needed.

It makes me so proud to see my sons beginning to give back. Nicholas is in charge of fundraising for his fraternity now. Like most families, we’ve had our share of tragedy, but it has only made us all more aware of how very fortunate we are to have each other.

What do you do for fun?

I love being on the water, and my perfect day is sitting on our boat picking crabs. Or, sitting on the pier with Michael, watching the sun set and drinking a glass of wine. When I’m in Myrtle Beach, I love walking on the beach with my two little dogs.

My family home is in Southern Maryland – it has been in my family for 60 years. Recently, I was able to buy it and begin renovations. It was hard to make the house my own, but still leave the memories that we all share, but I succeeded and everyone loves it.

Is there anything else you’d like to share about Frugal Princess?

I have made so many friends through this boutique. Women come in to shop and we end up talking and sharing our lives. We’re tiny, but there’s a lot of love in here.

Visit Sharon at the Frugal Princess on select Thursdays and Fridays throughout the year. The boutique is located at 3584 St. James Ave., just off the corner of 38th Ave. N. and Grissom Parkway. For more info, visit www.frugalprincess.org or follow Frugal Princess on Facebook.

About this writer

  • Leslie Moore Leslie Moore is the editor for Strand Media Group. A 25 year resident of Pawleys Island, she is blessed with a life filled with the love of family and friends and satisfying work to do every day.

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