For 27 years, Teresa Barfield filled a niche for ladies in the Wichita clothing market with a big smile, a pleasant, leisurely shopping experience and a personal touch.

For at least the last two years, Teresa Barfield had been telling her customers she was going to call it quits. She even ran an ad in The Community Voice last November, promoting a “going out of business” sale. But six months later, when she was still there, most of her customers relaxed, and assumed she’d just keep on keeping on.

But there comes a time when you know you’re through, and that time finally came for Barfield owner of Barfield’s Boutique. Infrequent customers may have been shocked to drive up to the shop, located just east of I-135 at 21st Street, to find the shop empty – gone.

Her regulars were a little less surprised. They noticed, she had been selling off her inventory.

Barfield’s was known for the sharpest outfits in town just the kind her customers loved. Her shop filled a niche, unique particularly to Black women who liked to stand out. Church hats and church outfits were a market she had cornered. A lady from small to 3x could come out of Mrs. Barfield’s looking clean from head to toe.

Whether it was casual outfits or after five, a lady in a Barfield’s outfit always looked well put together from head to toe.

“She always sold beautiful clothes,” said Emmadell Robinson, a shop regular. “She had unique taste and she knew what her customers wanted.”

If the store was open, Mrs. Barfield was there minding her clean and well-ordered store A quiet-spoken Christian lady, she would greet everyone by name and with a smile, took time with each and every customer and allowed you to take your time. Best of all, her regulars knew Barfield would always make them a deal. If you didn’t have enough to pay, there was lay-a-way, and for regulars, store credit.

A good marketer and savvy businesswoman, Barfield would call customers when she got new items in that she thought they would like. She had a formula for success

Barfield, 73, deserves a rest, but she says she finally stopped due to health issues. For more than a year, she’s had problems with her rotator cuff, which made it difficult for her to lift heavy objects. She admits she was in a lot of pain. When she realized that upcoming surgery on the shoulder would have her out for six months, she decided this was a good time to quit.

“The doctor told me I needed to retire,” said Barfield. And four weeks out, she says, “I’m glad I did.”

She admits she already misses her customers, but she’s looking forward to what’s next in her life.

“My son has a business. He wants me to kind of be in the office and help him,” said Barfield. “We’ll see, but not right now. I’m looking forward to taking a break for a minute.”

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.