Clover, a southern style boutique, opens downtown

Kelsie Westmoreland

A new college-town-inspired clothing boutique is bringing southern brands to downtown Lexington. Clover Boutique opened earlier this month on West Washington Street in the storefront previously occupied by J. McLaughlin. 

Catherine McSwain, hailing from Atlanta, Georgia, was inspired to start Clover Boutique when her daughter, Maggie, became a part of Washington and Lee University’s class of 2023.

Catherine McSwain followed her daughter to Lexington and decided to start a small
business in town. Photo by Lilah Kimble, ‘23.

McSwain said she was in search of a new professional challenge that could bring her closer to her daughter and out of Atlanta. 

“I discovered that Lexington is a beautiful and historic small town,” McSwain siad. “It’s just a great college town and a place I’m looking to stay long term.” 

McSwain is among many small business owners in the area, and her arrival in Lexington has been highly anticipated. The mayor’s office held a virtual ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the grand opening of the store, which McSwain said contributed greatly to the warm welcome that she has received since moving here. 

“So incredibly supportive,” she said. “My favorite thing is when someone pops their head in the front door of the shop and says ‘Hi! I just wanted to introduce myself.’”

Washington and Lee students, like McKenzie Napier, ‘22, have also been stopping by her store. Napier walked through the store the weekend after it opened. 

“I thought it was adorable. I think the first thing I noticed when I walked in was the smell. Which might seem a little bit odd, but it just smelled so good in there. The aesthetic was really beautiful and I loved the dark blue of the walls. It was very different, but it still felt really classy and classic,” Napier said. “I felt like I was browsing through a very well-organized closet.” 

McSwain credits “the importance of friendship and women helping other women” to the success of starting her own small business. To pay it forward, McSwain said she tries to find ways to support other women with small businesses. 

Clover carries artwork by female artists including Sunny Goode and Carolyn Ferrari to show McSwain’s support of female small business owners like herself.

The boutique carries a variety of different brands, many of which are based in the deep south, including Paige, Two Bees cashmere, Krewe eyewear and Niven Morgan, among others. Clover boutique is frequently adding new styles and brands to their collection.

Clover Boutique carries a variety of southern-based brands.
Photo by Lilah Kimble, ‘23.

“Coming soon, I have Agolde – W&L students seem especially excited for this one – Barefoot Dreams and Rowan tees” McSwain said about new merchandise on the horizon for April.

Clover Boutique is located at 14 W. Washington Street and open Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6p.m., Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and by appointment. You can also visit its Instagram account @cloverlexington or its website,, to learn more.