Elegant Mommy to close

Aug. 16, 2018

Longtime store Elegant Mommy plans to close its retail space to focus on working directly with new parents.

Owner Shelly Gaddis started the business almost 10 years ago after leaving a job at Wells Fargo because she felt called to help moms and build a community to support them in parenting. 

“That was the goal, and we accomplished that,” she said. “And as the store became more profitable and had bigger sales goals, the business of running the store has gotten in the way of my mission of helping and supporting moms.”

She went through all the scenarios — sell the business, bring on more staff to free up her time — but she felt pulled in another direction.

“We feel Elegant Mommy as a brand needs to close that door, and it’s time for God to use a different tool for us to reach families,” Gaddis said.

She owns the building at 207 W. 37th St., which also has office space for a nonprofit she co-founded called Educated Mommy.

Her focus likely will be on teaching new parents skills such as proper use of a car seat. She has been through lactation training but hasn’t had much time to teach classes or run support groups.

“Us selling the assets of the business up-front doesn’t have an effect on the classroom or Educated Mommy going anywhere,” she said. “It will be more impactful than it has been.”

She also anticipates adding more maternity clothing giveaways and other promotions to connect with new parents.

Elegant Mommy has a lot of inventory left, Gaddis said, because she only recently made the decision to close. That includes merchandise made locally by other moms.

So to begin the going-out-of-business sale, she’s hoping longtime customers will use their rewards and gift cards to support those local vendors.

“We’re hoping to sell a lot through our customers and let them use reward cards up, and we’ll see how that goes for a week and half or so, and then we’ll evaluate it as far as percentages off.”

 She hopes to wind down the retail store by the end of September, which will give her more time to spend with her own family.

 “I have four kids, and one starts high school this year, and I want to be able to spend more time focusing on them,” she said. “I’ll still be doing the education throughout the day, but it’s a lot less to take home at night.”

It has been gratifying to watch the Sioux Falls parenting community grow over the past decade, she said, including online groups, publications and events.

“I’m really confident this is going to carry on in some fashion,” she said. “I feel strongly God is saying I’m not going to be the person to lead that retail space, but I’m very confident you’re going to see something else.”

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Elegant Mommy to close

Longtime store Elegant Mommy plans to close its retail space to focus on working directly with new parents.

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