A well-known, local woman and business owner, Geri Anderson, grew up in Horry County and has lived in Myrtle Beach all of her adult life. She is the product of a loving family along with 8 siblings. Before Geri found her true calling, she was a successful banker for 20 years.
After Geri happily married and had her first and only son in the ‘60s, there was not many places in the area to buy cute children’s clothing. She was forced to travel out of town to find the perfect outfits. This inconvenience, plus her love for children and their beautiful clothes, inspired her to look into how to best start her own children’s clothing business. She knew it would be a great idea for the Grand Strand and would benefit all of the other parents in the area who deal with the same problem.
There was only one store around that sold children’s clothing at the time called “The Children Shoppe” and it was located in Pink House Square. With the help of a friend in retail, she purchased this store in 1976 and essentially gave it a “Miss Master” makeover and first opened in Myrtle Square Mall. Around 10 years later, she opened the current location for the store, off of Highway 17 Business in Myrtle Beach. Geri conjoined the names as it is very well-known now as “Miss Master: The Children Shoppe.”
The boutique specializes in traditional clothing ranging from newborn sizes to size 12 for boys and size 16 for girls. Her shop is also filled with shoes, accessories, and toys. Geri likes to keep out some of the fun toys around the shop to better entertain the children while their parents focus on their shopping. Geri believes that what you wear on the outside speaks to who you are on the inside, for adults, and children. She explains, “I actually think it affects one’s conduct. For example, children are taught that there is a time and place for all styles of clothes; there are play clothes to get dirty in, dress clothes for special occasions, and sleep clothes when it’s bedtime.”
The petite special clothing offered in her shop has a certain classic look that is very popular, especially in this area. They do not focus too much on what is “trendy,” but they do update in their own way. They love to go to market every season to pick out the new styles to sell, but they never stray too far away from Miss Master’s classic roots. As explained by one of Geri’s right-hand gals, “there really is some crazy children’s clothing out there, but that is not our clientele. We follow a more traditional, classical, keep-them-young, sweet look.”
Geri’s favorite part about working at her shop is that she genuinely enjoys the customers and her coworkers. She loves getting to know their repeat and consistently loyal customers. The women who work in the shop have all worked there for so long and they love what they do. Geri takes pride in her great team and says they are like family. The team also enjoys getting to know their contacts from who they purchase their precious items and affirms that those contacts become like family, too. Geri’s team truly has fun together every day at work and she feels extra thankful for them.
The biggest lesson learned in 2020 for Geri and her team is to always be loyal to your locals. Miss Master has relied more on them this year than ever and claims that the locals are the reason the store has been able to stay open. They feel grateful they were even able to end the year of 2020 still in business and believe that this fact is an accomplishment in itself. Their 2021 goal moving forward is to get back to some type of “normal” and hope to see more consistency in everybody. They strive to look ahead with less fear and more hope.
Geri and her team expressed, “In the future, we just hope to grow, and we hope that people learn how important it is to shop local. We don’t think the general public realizes how much shopping online hurts local stores, not just small ones, but even big named stores have that difficulty. And if it continues, one day a lot of these stores will be gone. It’s so important for shoppers to realize the quality over quantity that these types of stores have to offer. We have always been mindful of the quality of what we sell, and we stand behind it with confidence. We put great time and effort in choosing what to put in the store. We will even change companies if we notice the quality has become less than what we know our clients deserve as they shop at Miss Master.”
Similar to the attire she sells in her shop, Geri likes to stick to a traditional style when it comes to her own appearance. She likes to change it up through the seasons, but regardless of color choice, her look is always simple, classic, and comfortable. She does however enjoy animal print which is all the rage these days again. Geri also likes to dress herself up by doing her makeup, fixing her hair, painting her nails, and accessorizing with jewelry and scarves. It is all part of her daily routine. Geri says, “I really don’t start my day until I dress myself and get all ready. No matter what you have planned for the day, you have to get yourself dressed and ready for it. And once I do, I’m excited about my day. Every day that I get up and can get ready is a blessing.”
When Geri is not at her shop, which is rare, she likes to walk on the beach whenever it’s nice out. She enjoys relaxing and reading and spending quality time with her family. She has 4 nieces in the Grand Strand area and frequently sees her son, 3 grandchildren, and 2 great-grandchildren. According to Geri’s niece: “My aunt is more than a small business owner on the Grand Strand, she is a pillar of our community. As a devoted wife, mother, sister, aunt and Meme, she is the most kindhearted person you will meet. Her heart is made of Gold and I believe that is why Miss Master of Myrtle Beach has been successful for over 45 years. When you walk into her store, whether you’re a regular customer or a visitor passing through, you’re a friend of hers. It’s hard to find a local that she hasn’t dressed, either as a child or dressing their children now. She is easily the most stylish person in our family (possibly the most energized as well) and I can only hope to be as successful, graceful, kindhearted, and loved as she is. We are so proud to call her ours.”
Geri Anderson is a loving, sweet, and humble woman. She may not take credit for how truly impressive she is, but she certainly does know how blessed she is. She loves where she lives, and she loves that she is able to share beautiful clothing and accessories with so many. She has the most fun at work and says that when she no longer does, she will let someone else take over, but also says, with the utmost confidence, that she is nowhere close to that day. Thank goodness for us and for Miss Master.