Young Entrepreneurs: Finding The Perfect Fit At Denim & Pearls

By Rebecca Susmarski
The Register-Mail, Galesburg, Ill.

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Great Q&A with Stacey Browder, owner of clothing boutique, “Denim and Pearls.” She took some time to talk with The Register-Mail about how she adapted to her customer base over time and some of her best-selling items.


When the original owners of the Galesburg boutique Denim and Pearls decided to sell the store, Stacey Browder seized the opportunity to fulfill her dream of owning her own clothing boutique.

Browder, a native of Chillicothe, always loved fashion and got her start by working as a store manager for 10 years at Charlotte Russe in Northwoods Mall in Peoria.

Taking over Denim & Pearls in 2015 from Erin Woodward and Kim Lakis, though, gave Browder much more creative freedom and managerial independence.

“Working for a corporation, there are so many things you see at eye level that would improve things, and you are not always able to apply them,” Browder said. “I love being able to try new things and see where it takes me.”

Browder, now 33, had the same vision for the boutique as Woodward and Lakis, and she kept most of their original product lines. Over time she also added new lines to offer more variety, and at lower price points.

While getting to know her customer base was tricky at first, Browder soon earned her customers’ trust with her aptitude for helping them find the best clothes to suit their body type and personal style — customer service that she always plans to continue at Denim & Pearls.

“What gets hard for people is there are certain styles that are not made for certain body types, so it can get frustrating when you try things on and nothing seems to work,” Browder said. “You have to know what styles fit what body types, but with styles constantly changing it can be hard. There are ways to dress your outfit to match a current trend, even if the particular style is not made for your body type, and that is where I come in. Clothing shopping should never be stressful; it should be a fun experience, so we try to help with that here.”

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