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New boutique fills a niche in Aztec market

Hannah Grover
hgrover@daily-times.com
Co-owner Britney Lemons talks about her new store Friday at Sweet Moments Boutique in Aztec.

AZTEC — As the number of jobs the family-owned Hathcock Oilfield Service was working on declined, Diane Hathcock started wondering what she could do to supplement her family's income.

"It was hard for me to find another job, so why not just create one?" she said, describing her mindset.

In light of the down economy, Hathcock and her daughter, Britney Lemons, decided to pursue a dream they have had a for a couple of years — opening a store. Today, that dream became a reality when the Sweet Moments Boutique opened its doors in the Westside Plaza in Aztec.

During the peak of the oil and gas boom in San Juan County, Hathcock Oilfield Service would work five to six jobs a day. Now, the trucking company averages only a couple of jobs a week, Hathcock said.

Lemons said it's terrifying opening a new business while the local economy has been struggling, but she and her mother decided to take a chance.

The Sweet Moments Boutique store opened for business Friday at the Westside Plaza  in Aztec.

"If we just talk about it and never do it, then we'll never know if it would have worked," Lemons said.

While Sweet Moments is a new business, Lemons said it also fills a niche that was lacking in Aztec — clothing stores.

Vangie Neil, the vice president of Aztec Chamber of Commerce, was already scouting the store for Christmas presents, as well as clothes for herself, during a ribbon-cutting ceremony today.

"I know where I'm going to be shopping," she said, adding that the clothes at Sweet Moments are like those she could get at Macy's or Dillard's.

Neal said the boutique is the perfect women's store and represents a good addition for the town.

"We have wanted for someone to bring clothes to Aztec for some time," she said.

Krista Sleight and her nephew Payson Shurtliff shop Friday at the Sweet Moments Boutique in Aztec.

In addition to clothes, the store also sells jewelry, baby accessories, cosmetics and artisan soaps that Hathcock crafts.

"I thought it would be nice to have a girly store here in Aztec," Hathcock said.

Hannah Grover covers Aztec and Bloomfield, as well as general news, for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652.