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Sassy’s Boutique after 11 years under Petersen

September 13, 2019
CJ Eilers - Editor (editor@dysartreporter.com) , Dysart Reporter

A Main Street fixture closed its doors at the beginning of the month as Wanda Petersen said goodbye to 11 and a half years of running Sassy's Boutique.

The decision to close the business was a personal one of Petersen and her husband as they wished to spend more time with grandchildren. Her mother has also dealt with health issues recently, which Petersen said was "the icing on the cake" for a decision to close the shop.

"I'll miss my Main Street comrades and the customers I've worked with," Petersen said. "It's time to move on and that's the way it is."

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Petersen bought the boutique in 2008, which had two previous owners under the name Sassy's Boutique. She previously worked as an administrative assistant for 19 years and as a consultant for a women's clothing company, plus her mother was a seamstress that taught her fabrics growing up. This experience would help her as made the purchase for her own first business.

"I always wanted to own my own boutique, but I wanted to wait until my kids were out of high school," Petersen said. "A business is such a big dedication. I guess what got me started was Julie McLaughlin came down to me as told me Sassy's was being sold. That was the push I needed."

Sassy's Boutique already had name recognition in the community and Petersen "fell right in" with running the business on a fresh, busy Main Street. She selected vendors believed to be best for the boutique while continuing to offer items the previous ownership had in stock.

"You could look out the window almost any time and see packages going up and down the street," Petersen said. "Clothing was just introduced when I took over. I just did what my background taught me."

Good customer service was one thing Petersen learned from her previous careers and quickly applied her philosophy to Sassy's: forge a general relationship with customers and talk to them about their general life.

"There were a lot of women who don't know how to dress, and they will tell you that," Petersen said. "People in the health industry, the ones who wear scrubs all the time, you show them what you have and they decide what works best for their wardrobe."

While the business experienced relatively few changes, Main Street went through its struggles. Bus tours which had regularly visited Dysart started to wane off and every business had to find ways to draw customers. Some remained, others closed their doors.

"Most people you talk to think you can only survive on local business," Petersen said. "We did a survey through an appreciate pot. I went through the results for about two months and it was 60 percent local, 40 out of town, which surprised me. It was interesting to see how much out of town business keeps you going."

The business is not yet listed on the market as Petersen cleans up the store and selling items. She hopes to find interested buyers for the "beautiful" building, which feature repainted ceilings, new lighting, open back area and dry basement.

 
 

 

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