This article originally ran in the Cleveland Daily Banner on March 17, 2019
Christel Hudgins, owner of Simply Chic Boutique, is using her locally owned, faith-based business as a sponsor of the upcoming biblical interactive museum, Trek Thru Truth, to promote the shared values surrounding Jesus Christ.
Hudgins met Trek Thru Truth founder Doug Caywood through their church, Samples Memorial Baptist Church.
The 41-year-old Hudgins is an active member of her church, as is her husband, who serves as Sunday school teacher.
“Doug had asked me if I’d be interested in participating and being a sponsor through Simply Chic. When he told me all about it, I was all for it,” Hudgins said.
Numerous others at Samples Memorial are involved with the upcoming museum as well. The methods of helping vary, and all ages are active. Children have participated in live-action skits portraying different Bible characters and some church members sit at the Trek Thru Truth booth at events to promote the museum.
Hudgins said people always say kids are our future; but she disagrees. She believes kids are our present as well, andinvesting in them now will prep them for a great future.
“We teach children about the Bible from a young age because they’re like a sponge absorbing information. This builds a good, solid foundation for them, and the interactive aspect of Trek Thru Truth is only going to expand on these stories and make them even more engaging and memorable for visitors,” she said.
Simply Chic has been in its current location since 2014. It sells a variety of women’s clothing for high school-aged women up through adulthood. Its staff is comprised of Hudgins and three workers, who coincidentally all attend Lee University. In addition to its clothing, the boutique also sells accessories, shoes, decor and candles.
As a faith-based business, Simply Chic is centered around God, which is apparent in the music being played in the store, the signs quoting Bible verses and its abundance of inspirational decor and products.
Hudgins believes Trek Thru Truth will help the community come together and share Christ with others, as Christians are called to be disciples. It will also serve as an excellent first-person testimonial for others to spread the word about their positive experiences at the museum.
Although she doesn’t have children, Hudgins said she considers all the kids at Samples Memorial her children, and works to be a positive role model for them. She said one method of mentoring is teaching them about Christ, and telling them about the upcoming museum.
The museum will have more than 52 interactive displays, each featuring different stories from the Bible. What Doug Caywood envisioned — and is fully prepared to build — are exhibits that tantalize the five senses, and these may include real animals, water, music, etc., as he wants to make the experience feel as historically accurate as possible.
“I think I’m gonna learn from Trek Thru Truth. I do Bible studies regularly, so I learn something new every day,” Hudgins added.
Originally earning a degree as a registered nurse from Dalton State Community College, Hudgins said her plans for the nursing field were radically changed after she opened Simply Chic. She credits God with the success she has seen through her boutique allowing her to work there full-time, and is thankful for the opportunity to minister to others through her own job.
To learn more about the upcoming biblical museum, go to www.trekthrutruth.com . or call them at 423-665-9229.
Simply Chic is located at 3330 Keith Street and can be reached at 423-458-1571 or by emailing Hudgins at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, check out its Facebook and Instagram pages or website at www.simplychicboutique.com .