Village Square Boutique: A Hometown Store

We love our neighborhood, and the awesome people who make our square a vibrant and beautiful place to be.

By Kathleen Swift

The holidays are almost here, and for many of us, our thoughts turn to shopping. If you are looking for a unique gift for someone special, a holiday décor item to brighten your home or something new for your holiday wardrobe, you will want to stop by Village Square Boutique on the west side of the Carthage square.

Kara and Ed Hardesty and Kara’s mom, Karen Trotter, may be best known for their shop, Mother Road Coffee. Moving to Carthage from Tacoma, Washington, Kara and Ed missed the neighborhood-style coffee shops they found in the Seattle area, so they opened Mother Road five years ago.

This last summer, they added Village Square Boutique next door to Mother Road Coffee.

“We were fortunate that the building next door was available for rent,” said Kara. “We love our neighborhood, and the awesome people who make our square a vibrant and beautiful place to be. Our two shops, as well as Annie’s, are all part of the original Center Building in Carthage. As a result, we have connecting doors that we keep open between all of the businesses, including Cherry’s Art Gallery in the adjoining building. You can walk through and browse from one shop to the other, which makes a friendly, walkable shopping experience in an authentic, historic environment.”

At Village Square Boutique, you will find women’s casual clothing in sizes small to XX large along with novelty socks and elegant scarves. You will also find unique items that come from local artisans as well as from small entrepreneurs around the country.

“We wanted as many local products and products from small start-up companies as we could find,” said Karen. “When we went to market in Dallas, we looked for products from family-made and family-marketed businesses. We want to be able to talk to the owners of the products we sell. Even our logo was created by local photographer Celesta Champagne.”

While shopping at Village Square Boutique, look for leather earrings handmade by local artisan Sarah Obermann. There are decorative light-switch plates created by Jennifer Reavis, and look for the handmade cards and gift bags from Ann Petersen. Decorative graphic pillows for the holidays and for everyday are lovingly made by Little Birdie, and you can find one that is perfect for your home.

And for the men in your life, check out the line of Duke Cannon lotions, soaps and more. Each product comes with a story and a humorous tag line that everyone will love.

For Kara and Karen, being a part of the community and serving their customers is everything.


“I love Carthage,” said Kara. “We’ve been blessed to have good support from the community as well as from travelers from around the world who follow Route 66. We want to give people lots of options for shopping on the Carthage square. We try to provide items that people will love at a price to fit most budgets.”

For the holiday shopping season, Village Square Boutique will host a holiday open house November 9 along with their retail neighbors. You will also find extended hours Friday evenings between Thanksgiving and Christmas at Village Square Boutique, where you will enjoy that hometown shopping experience.