By Victoria Lusk
American News, Aberdeen, S.D.
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) A nice snapshot of one South Dakota entrepreneur who is expanding her online boutique with a brick and mortar location.
American News, Aberdeen, S.D.
There’s a saying that launched 23-year-old entrepreneur Meg Martin into business ownership.
And it’s the same saying that helped her name her store.
“If you pull an arrow back,” she said, “it’ll spring you into the direction of something better or greater.”
And while finding the courage to pull that arrow back might not have been easy, it has proven worthwhile so far.
Martin started the clothing portion of Arrow Boutique online on July 31, 2015.
“It took off well right away,” she said, which might have had a little to do with the free shipping she was offering.
But she realizes there’s one struggle that comes with online shopping, and that’s not being able to try on clothes.
That’s changed now, with her new brick-and-mortar store inside the Briscoe Building, 224 First Ave. S.E.
Arrow Boutique opened Aug. 1, in the same space as Rustic Roots.
Martin expanded her online boutique to include home decor about three or four months ago. At that time, she began selling her creations and finds at the Main Street Flea Market, ironically one of the first places Rustic Roots was located.
Martin and Juli Ermer, who owns Rustic Roots, did not know one another before combining their businesses into the same space.
But so far, the consolidation means more room for both businesses to grow, and Martin feels the styles of the businesses are blending well.
Because Martin still tends to push clothes online, she said, not many people know about her other products, such as refurbished furniture, accessories, antiques and gift items.
While Martin orders some home decor from wholesale vendors, she has painted a few in-store items herself, including wood signs and furniture. Other items include antique finds from garage sales, flea markets and junk sales.
Affordability is a key element to Martin’s business plan. Right now, most clothing items range from $20 to $50, she said.
Specialty items such as jackets can be more.
Starting a business at such a young age took careful consideration, Martin said.
“I felt like if I didn’t do it now, I probably never would,” she said.
Two days after opening in the new location, Martin had no regrets, she said.
Rustic Roots moved to the Briscoe Building from a smaller downtown location.
When Ermer began her business, it was supposed to be just a hobby, she said. But with the business growing — literally — the additional space for storage and planting is welcome.
While many of the business’ products and much of its focus have been on succulents, Ermer said she’s really about all plants. In fact, she sells cut flowers from her personal garden at the farmers market in front of the businesses on Thursdays.
The move and working with Martin have allowed the business to expand its hours.
Both Rustic Roots and Arrow Boutique are open 11 a.m. — 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. Future Saturday hours or events will be posted to Facebook, Martin said. Until then, Rustic Roots will open by appointment on Saturdays.