Marlea Wheeler, owner of Marlea's, a women's clothing store located in Elkins, has been selected as the winner of the Best of the Region Best Businesswoman Award.
Honored to be the recipient, Wheeler said she deeply appreciates her customers' continued support.
"I have people that have shopped with me since day one - it's pretty amazing. I feel like my customers are my friends and I try to treat them like that. I guess it shows," she said.
Wheeler, who has lived in Elkins since 1972, first opened her store nearly 28 years ago as a hobby.
"I had worked with my husband in sporting goods for 14 years, our kids were grown and I just decided to try something new."
However, her customer base grew quickly, and Marlea's became a mainstay for local clothes shoppers. Wheeler said she does her best to ensure that her stock is fashionable.
"Whenever I purchase merchandise," Wheeler said, "I make sure it looks like it will match my store. I also have to make sure it fits in with what my customers like.
"I really try to listen to my customers. They want clothes that are high quality and stylish, but that won't go out of style next season. It's up to me to find what they want."
While keeping current might be a lot of work, Wheeler said she would not change anything.
"I love what I do," she said.