- Real Estate
- Food & Drink
By Helen Conzemius, for SiouxFalls.Business
TEA — Laurie Belle’s Boutique in Tea will break ground next month for its new building.
Owner Laurie Karlson launched her boutique online in August 2013. At the time, it was one of the only boutiques in the area, she said. There was enough demand that she opened a store about six months later for customers to come and try on clothes they saw online.
A stay-at-home mom and former teacher, she was ready to return to work but didn’t think a classroom was the right fit. Selling clothing seemed like a more natural direction, she said.
“It’s something I’ve always been passionate about,” Karlson said, remembering how she used to stand in front of her closet, envisioning different outfits she could wear the next day.
The store at 615 E. Brian St. has been outgrowing its space and has knocked down walls several times in the past three years to accommodate its need for more room, she said.
The unique part about Laurie Belle’s Boutique is that it hosts at least one event each month. The store recently celebrated teacher and nurse appreciation weeks by giving discounts and prizes to women who work in those fields. The next big event is Tea Pot Days June 14-17 when the boutique will offer sidewalk sales and giveaways.
In addition to women’s apparel, Laurie Belle’s Boutique sells shoes, bracelets, necklaces and locally made custom wood signs. The new location will offer additional items such as coffee cups, water bottles, kids’ clothing and some mommy-and-me outfits.
The new store will be in a standalone building near the GrandStay Hotel and Suites not far from the Tea exit off Interstate 29 and include space for warehousing.
It will have fun surprises for shoppers as well, Karlson said.
“It’s a way for me to give back to the customers who have been with us from the start and have helped make this happen,” she said.
The store has made a big buzz online. The boutique’s Facebook page has almost 325,000 followers. Karlson has 20 people on her payroll, and some are dedicated entirely to maintaining the Facebook page and responding to messages. The goal is to post something new every 90 minutes, she said.
Shipping is free for purchases that are more than $50 and $5 for any other purchases, with delivery in one to three days.
“We ship all the way to Hawaii, and it’s really taken off in the last year and a half,” she said.
Karlson hopes the new boutique will be open by early November with a grand opening for the holiday season.
The current location is open daily. The hours change day to day and can be found at lauriebellesboutique.com.
Laurie Belle’s Boutique in Tea will break ground next month on a new building.