Inverness resident and business owner Regan Elson almost died last March from sepsis.

The life-threatening disease caused infection to build up and Elson, 22, endured some painful moments that caused her to be hospitalized for five days.

But it was that experience that solidified Elson’s longtime desire to open a boutique. Life, she said, is too short and she called that harrowing time “an eye-opener.”

“Having my own store has always been a dream,” Elson said. “After I got sick, I did everything I could to make it come true. I feared I might die and that accelerated my dream to open a boutique.”

On Dec. 5, Elson opened Twisted Moon Boutique at 105 S. Osceola Ave. in downtown Inverness. She rents an upstairs room at the Tangles Hair Salon and Day Spa, a downtown Inverness fixture for some 22 years.

Elson has known the salon owner, Stacey McKinney, for quite some time and she and her mom and grandmother have gotten their hair done there for a long time.

"Grandmother mentioned to McKinney that her daughter was looking for space to open her boutique and “one thing led to another,” Elson said.

The partnership works. While salon clients are waiting for their hair appointment, McKinney and her staff invite them to walk upstairs and check out Elson’s boutique.

McKinney said she was impressed right from the start with Elson’s enthusiasm, especially being so young.

“She’s ambitious, she’s seeing what she wants and she’s going for it,” she said.

McKinney said she knows rent can be expensive in downtown Inverness so she was happy to work out a lease for her to get started. 

“I (told her) I have this room and I think it would work out great for her,” McKinney said.

She’s impressed by the ever-changing boutique stock and said she and her salon staff shopped there for Christmas.

McKinney said it helps the salon because clients now have an added experience when coming for their hair appointments.

Elson sells a variety of new jewelry and clothes.

Elson said her Twisted Moon boutique was named after her grandfather, who died three years ago. 

“When me and my sister were growing up and we misbehaved, he always said he was going to send us ‘to the moon’ and that stuck with us,” Elson said.

Elson runs Twisted Moon by herself and when the shop isn’t open, she is working at her other job as a dental assistant in Homosassa.

Elson, a native of Citrus County and Citrus High School graduate has worked in a boutique since she was 16 years. About three months ago, she started an online store but wanted to expand into a brick-and-mortar operation. 

Twisted Moon Boutique is open from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, noon to 6 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. It is closed Sunday through Tuesday.

Contact Chronicle reporter Michael D. Bates at 352-563-3205 or mbates@chronicleonline.com. To see more of his stories, visit  tinyurl.com/y6kb23vv.

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