For love of roses: Pyle’s mom-inspired boutique

Farragut mom Barbara Pyle’s COVID-19 isolation and post-partum issues birthed a thriving online business named in honor and memory of her mom.

“She loved roses,” said Pyle of the inspiration behind naming her shop Smoky Rose Boutique, which opened July 1.

The mother of four boys really got bitten by the business bug last year during pandemic lockdowns.

“It was the first time I had ever experienced post-partum depression,” she said, noting it followed the birth of her youngest child. “We had only just moved to our new house in Farragut, too, then COVID shutdowns hit me really hard,” Pyle added.

“I was always home, but wanted something to do.”

Since Pyle enjoyed the experience of “making my own stuff,” she invested in a Cricrit, a computer-controlled cutting machine that slices through a variety of materials.

Pyle said she and her sons enjoyed the variety of items she could make, many of which she shared before realizing maybe she should start a business.

“One thing I really enjoy is helping others,” she said. “It’s one of my favorite things to do.”

Pyle started with an Etsy shop, selling personalized items she decorated, but eventually realized she wanted to branch out to offer other products and lines.

“Right now, we have graphic T-shirts, handbags and boutique items, such as earrings and shoes,” Pyle said of her current inventory, which also includes seasonal fall and Halloween-specific clothing and even candles and scented waxes. “I am very picky about the quality of what we offer. We recently got a shipment of T-shirts that I sent back because they were just not the best. If I don’t like it, I won’t sell it.”

Smoky Rose Boutique also has coasters, personalized mugs and tumblers, necklaces, bracelets, dresses, hats and outerwear.

Pyle focuses on funny, uplifting slogans and mottos adorning her products, and she offers large and plus-sizes.

“I do focus on making sure we have enough sizes for everyone,” she said. “I also really want people to feel comfortable being themselves and buy things that they feel happy about.

“My main slogan is ‘Be Your Own Kind of Beautiful.’ I think a lot of people don’t realize they don’t need to change something in order to be beautiful — they are already beautiful.”

Pyle has been marketing the business heavily through social media, including Facebook, Instagram, Tik-Tok and Pinterest.

“Everything is online right now, but we are hoping next year to have an actual brick-and-mortar shop,” she said, adding deliveries are charged a small fee, but returns and exchanges “are no problem.”

While running the business out of her home, Pyle also recently started working on her Master’s degree in social work, building on a background in human resources and accounting. “I was the first person in my family to get a GED, and I was the first to go to college,” she said.

For more information, visit The Smoky Rose Boutique on Facebook, Instagram or Tik-Tok.

Pyle and husband, Chad, have two sons together.

“I did everything myself, and I’m really proud of that.”