GIRARD — Pearls & Curls Boutique opened just over two months ago, but has already become a finalist in two categories of the Global Boutique Awards.

The Global Boutique Awards are hosted by the Boutique Hub, an organization connecting boutique owners all over the world with other owners, customers and resources. The awards include over 4,000 boutiques worldwide, allowing customers to vote for their favorite in several categories.

Once customers vote for their favorite boutiques, the top five in each category become finalists and voting starts again. Pearls & Curls is current in the top five Best Boutiques in Kansas, and Best Overall Boutique Storefront.

“We started online sales in April and opened the store June 3,” Co-owner Shelby Hobbs said. “I think our online sales have really helped us connect with customers outside of southeast Kansas and build a lot of extra support.”

Pearls & Curls is located on Prairie Street on the square in Girard, just next to Shear Expressions — a salon owned by Shelby’s mother, Debbie Hobbs, for 32 years.

“The Boutique Hub really helped us reach out to customers online and get a successful business started,” Shelby Hobbs said. “And having my mom’s salon right here has driven a lot of local traffic in.”

Shelby Hobbs has always had a passion for boutiques and fashion. She worked at The Buckle through her undergraduate college years — she’s now a graduate student at Pittsburg State University — so when given the chance to open her own boutique, she went for it.

That leap of faith is paying off as customers from southeast Kansas, Ohio and even the Virgin Islands continue to shop at Pearls & Curls, as well as cast their vote in the Global Boutique Awards.

Voting for the final winners is still ongoing, and any fans of Pearls & Curls can vote at www.theboutiqueawards.com.

Voting wraps up on August 21.

Pearls & Curls offers everything from closing, shoes, jewelry, children’s items, skin care, decor and more both online at www.pearlsandcurlsboutique.com and in Girard at the store.

— Chance Hoener is a staff writer for the Morning Sun. He can be emailed at choener@morningsun.net or follow him on Twitter @ReporterChance.