WHITESTOWN, Ind. — Throughout the month of May, some of your favorite IndyCar drivers are taking us on a tour of the Circle City and sharing their favorite hot-spots.
Today, however, we’re flipping the script and visiting a new business owned by the fiancée of driver Gabby Chaves—who also happens to be named Gabby.
Gabby Piccarreta opened Millie Ann’s boutique (located at 7149 Whitestown Pkwy) in February of this year.
Two years ago, Chaves and Piccarreta moved to Whitestown. Shortly thereafter, she started thinking more seriously about opening her own business.
“A lot of boutiques are in downtown Zionsville, and we’re a little bit further west, so we just thought that it would be a great location,” she said. “We wanted to be convenient for people on this side of town.”
Millie Ann’s is driven by family: both the IndyCar family and Piccarreta’s own. And it all started with the original “Millie”.
“When my great-grandmother came here from Europe, she Americanized her name from Amelia to Emily. Millie is actually the nickname for Emily,” she explained. “My grandmother was named Millie Ann, my mother was named Teresa Ann and my middle name is Emily. So it’s kind of just a family name that trickled down.”
Naming the boutique “Millie Ann’s” started as a tribute to older generations of women in Piccarreta’s family, but eventually—and unexpectedly—a tribute to her mom, Teresa Ann, as well.
“My mom was a healthy person and just started getting a little tired. And she got diagnosed with stage 4 cancer of her lungs and bones,” Piccarreta said.
Her mom passed away just after Thanksgiving of last year, just weeks after her diagnosis. And although she couldn’t be there with her daughter for the store’s ribbon cutting, Teresa Ann certainly did leave her mark on Millie Ann’s.
"She was very much involved in everything from the colors, to the name and even the clothing racks," explained Piccarreta. "She would have loved it here."
Loving Millie Ann’s boutique isn’t hard to do, as they have something for just about everyone.
“We carry women’s clothing from small all the way to XXXL,” she said. “We carry children’s clothing, boys and girls from newborn to size 5, and we will be expanding to size 8 during summer and size 12 during winter.”
They also carry gifts like coffee, tea and mugs, items created by local artists, jewelry, shoes and accessories like race-track worthy bottle opener sunglasses.
But their top selling items are some of the more basic summer essentials like trendy and versatile basic tees.
“We had to reorder the basic tees, they’ve been our number one hit. And then kids swimwear,” she said.
Parent’s love that Millie Ann’s sells children’s swimwear by the in-demand brands RuffleButts (for girls) and RuggedButts (for boys).
Four Things You Need to Know About Millie Ann’s Boutique:
- Millie Ann’s is open Tuesday-Friday from 11AM-7PM, Saturdays from 10AM-5PM, Sundays from 12PM-5PM and closed on Sundays.
- The store is owned by Gabby Piccarreta (fiancé of driver Gabby Chaves), who chose the name “Millie Ann’s” in honor of the older generations of women in her family. Her great grandmother, Emelia, Americanized her name to Emily upon immigrating to the US. “Millie” is a nickname for Emily and a variation of the names Millie, Emily and Ann have been passed down through the younger generations of women in her family.
- They specialize in women’s apparel and children’s clothing, but also carry accessories, gifts like coffee, tea and mugs, and even items created by local artists. Their top-selling items so far this season have been the women’s basic tees and children’s swimwear.
- Piccarreta’s mom, Teresa Ann, played a major role in helping to design and plan the boutique. Unfortunately, she was diagnosed with cancer late last year and passed away just after Thanksgiving. Now, in her honor, her daughter often holds special “Shop For a Cause” days at Millie Ann’s where a percentage of store proceeds go to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
With the soon-to-be Mrs.Gabby Chaves as the store’s owner and Andretti Autosport driver Zach Veach’s girlfriend, Kate McConnell, as the store manager, it should come as no surprise that some of their biggest supporters come from the IndyCar community.
“The [driver’s] wives and girlfriends are big supporters… they come in and shop with us,” Piccarreta said.
They even had driver's come in earlier this month to help the boutique kick off the month of May with a special event for the fans and community.
“We had Zach Veach, Jack Harvey and Felix Rosenqvist come in for autographs and that was really cool. A lot of fans showed up,” she said.
Plus, since Millie Ann’s is run by two drivers’ other halves, they know just how to style customers for the month of May.
Their inventory includes something for any kind of race fan, like shorts for the fan who will be trying to keep cool in the grandstands or a leopard print top that just screams “Snake Pit.”
So what are their tips for track fashion?
“Something that I always look for is something really light because you’re in the sun the majority of the day,” said Piccarreta. “I try most of the time to wear a dress just because jeans are really hot to me.”
“I would definitely do a white shirt… because white reflects the light at the track, so you wouldn’t be soaking like you would in a black shirt,” added McConnell.
While in Whitestown, check out some of the area’s other popular local hot-spots:
Not only do Piccarreta and Chavez share a first name, but they also share the same entrepreneurial spirit. Last month, Chaves and fellow driver Juan Piedrahita opened Mobile Pitstop, which takes the hassle out of oil changes by bringing the service to you.
So, what’s it like for these professional race car drivers to step out of the cockpit and into the position of business owner and personal pit crew?
For that answer and more on their story, check out today’s “Web Extra” by clicking here.