Open the Door to a Brighter Day: Vivid colors and a warm welcome await at Sudie’s

Open the Door to a Brighter Day: Vivid colors and a warm welcome await at Sudie’s

A warm welcome…

On a magnificent, blue-sky autumn afternoon in Woodstock, vivid colors brighten the day, inside and out, at Sudie’s, an inviting fashion boutique located on Central Street. As longtime customer Jane Evans browses, she explains that she visits often, especially on gray winter days when she most enjoys the colorful ambience while chatting with owner Sudie Watson who greets every customer with a warm smile. 

Established relationships…

Jane is but one of a following of loyal customers who has frequented Sudie’s over the past 22 years. Many travel from afar to shop unique fashions and high-quality brands that cannot be found elsewhere in New England. Cashmere sweaters, luxury outerwear, cozy boots, trendy handbags, and sparkling accessories create a multi-hued visual display throughout the shop. All are carefully curated by Sudie every season to surprise and delight her customers.

“Sudie’s is a bright, happy place,” said Jane. “Shoppers come for the fashion, but they also visit for friendly conversation. Sudie establishes relationships with her customers that go above and beyond the sales transaction.”

Facing challenges…

Not every day has been full of sunshine, and Sudie has seen her share of challenges. Over the past two decades, she has braved the devastation from Hurricane Irene, struggled with putting two kids through college as a single mom, and navigated her business through the worst days of the pandemic. When customers couldn’t make it to the store, they would ask, “Do you have a website we can buy from?” But for Sudie, a fiscally conscious, solo entrepreneur, she never had a way to make that happen. That is until Jane mentioned the Community Navigator Pilot Program (CNPP), and introduced Sudie to Melissa Bounty, Assistant Director of the Central Vermont Economic Development Corporation (CVEDC). As the director of Studio J Creative, Jane had previously worked with Melissa on other projects.

The CNPP program is designed to “reduce barriers that all small businesses — including those owned by disadvantaged groups such as veterans, women and those from rural communities —often face in accessing critical support.” The Community Navigator Pilot Program uses a “hub and spoke” model, with the Vermont Small Business Development Center (VtSBDC) as the hub, and nine partner organizations, including CVEDC, as spokes.

Making a difference…

“I could not have done this without the help of Melissa and the Community Navigator Pilot Program,” said Sudie. “This program has been such a relief for me. I no longer have to worry about having the tools that I need to improve my business, and it has already made a huge difference for me and for my customers.”


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