A former pageant winner has opened a clothing boutique in the Shoppes at Louviers in Newark.

Cecile Boutique specializes in gowns for pageants, proms and other special occasions, including high-end options that cost up to $8,000.

The business, which celebrated its grand opening earlier this month, also offers training for pageant contestants.

“So while I may be here today, standing before you representing Cecile Boutique, it really does take a village to make this happen,” owner Shana Williams said during the event, thanking her family members, friends and employees.

Williams has spent 25 years as a pageant competitor, director, coach and judge. In 2011, she was named Mrs. Delaware America.

The store is named for Williams’ late mother, Cecelia Hinton, who died from cancer in 2016.

Cecile Boutique was originally located in Center Pointe Plaza on Churchmans Road but closed during the pandemic.

Williams said the new location in the Shoppes of Louviers is a new chapter for the business.

“During the pandemic, we really didn’t know what our future was going to be, but I always knew that it was just going to be OK,” she said. “Even when it didn’t look like it was going to be OK, you just know. And that’s what they call faith.”

Mayor Jerry Clifton thanked Williams for choosing to bring her business to Newark.

“What a great day for Newark, another business investing in our community,” Clifton said. “It was really inspiring hearing the lives you have touched and will continue to touch. You are the manifestation of ‘tough times don’t last, tough people do.’”

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