For Michelle Scheid, the grand opening of her store was a long time coming. With a creative background and a passion for making and selling jewelry, she was looking for a new outlet for her creativity. “A friend of mine owns a Mainstream Boutique in South Dakota, and one day she called me and said, ‘You’ve got to do this, it’s the perfect fit for you,’” says Scheid.
Although she was no stranger to selling her creations in stores and farmer’s markets around the Des Moines metro, going into business with a storefront of her own was an entirely new prospect. “My husband and I entertained the idea, and then put it on the backburner for a while,” she says. The idea stayed there until she hit a turning point in her career. “The timing couldn’t have been better. I got to a point in life where I wanted to do something I’m super passionate about,” says Michelle.
Mainstream Boutique sells unique and on-trend clothing, shoes, and accessories for fashion-conscious women of all ages. There are over 60 franchises nationwide and each boutique is independently owned and operated. With the opening of Michelle’s store, there will be two Mainstream Boutiques in the Des Moines area.
Despite the potential for competition, the two owners have been very supportive of one another. According to Scheid, Cindy Lane, owner of the Valley Junction location, has owned her boutique for 18 years. Lane was the very first franchise owner and continues to be a top-selling franchisee in the company. And luckily for Scheid, Lane has become a mentor to her. “She reached out to me when she found out we were bringing a store into the Waukee area,” says Scheid. “I have been lucky to work with Cindy over the last few months, learning from her buying experience and business expertise.”
Both locations cater to women of all ages. “When we buy, we take into consideration what the other store has ordered so we have a good selection across the board,” Michelle says. “We don’t double up too much, unless it’s something too good to pass up.” For the customer, that translates to a variety in clothing selection across locations, but the same consistently good service and sales promotions will apply.
For Scheid, it’s not just about the opportunity to flex her creative muscle and marketing-savvy; it’s an opportunity to serve people. She’s hoping her store will provide a unique experience for shoppers an area with few retail stores, and that women will have the opportunity to find just the right thing to make them feel beautiful. “Instead of using high-pressure sales tactics, we’ll be working to build relationships with our customers,” explained Michelle.
The location itself is also a product of Scheid’s creative flair; she describes the space as “raw elegance,” with a combination of mixed metals, distressed woods, and raw material. “It has an industrial feel,” she says. After the store opens, Scheid and her staff will offer the opportunity for Ladies Nights in the beautiful new space. They’ll host events after-hours and make the space available to more intimate groups. Each host will get $50 off her purchase, and she and all of her friends will get 25% off the purchase of one item. Scheid and her staff will provide beverages, as well as a cheese and crackers. “It’s the perfect way to throw a party – there’s no housekeeping, and no charge or minimum,” she explained. For information on sales, promotions, events, and the grand opening, follow Mainstream Boutique on Facebook.
Scheid can hardly wait for the store to open. “I get up really early in the morning, not because I’m stressed, but because I’m so full of life and excitement,” she says. Her only regret? “I regret I didn’t do this earlier!”
Where to shop: 9500 University Avenue, Suite 2105 in West Des Moines (just West of Jethro’s off of University Ave).
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