New downtown boutique opens with focus on sustainability

April 29, 2019

Terra Shepherd Boutique & Apothecary opens downtown today, bringing a unique mix of sustainable fashion and natural products to Phillips Avenue.

It’s located in the former A League of Your Own space at 218 S. Phillips Ave.

Owner Sara Jamison grew up in Sioux Falls and has retail experience at several businesses, most recently Elegant Mommy. The birth of her son inspired her to source more environmentally friendly products and led to the idea for a business.

She launched online a couple of months ago and made some cosmetic changes to the store.

“It feels light and airy, and I wanted to create a space where people were drawn in and wanted to touch and feel and smell, and I feel like that has happened,” she said. “I wanted that upscale shopping experience but still to feel warm and comfortable and approachable.”

She uses about a half-dozen vendors for clothing, including dresses, skirts, tops, pants and jumpsuits.

“Everything is going to be fair trade and made places where people are earning living wages, and you won’t find any synthetic fibers: a lot of bamboo, hemp, organic cotton,” Jamison said.

“I don’t think any of the brands are currently carried in Sioux Falls, so hopefully that’s a point of differentiation and something beneficial.”

Unlike the “fast fashion” store model, merchandise here won’t rotate frequently. Most vendors do two or three deliveries for spring/summer and fall/holiday.

“I have my buys done for fall and holiday, so you’re not going to see that constant turnover but a lot of remerchandising and reworking items so it looks fresh,” Jamison said.

There’s also a selection of handbags and jewelry at a variety of price points.

The apothecary side of the boutique is integrated throughout the store, with shelves of natural soaps, deodorants and even bamboo toothbrushes.

Another section includes candles, teas, tonics and bitters that serve as natural remedies for everything from headaches and digestion to insect repellent.

“They’re things you’d use to replace things in your medical cabinet rather than pulling out a chemical version,” Jamison said.

There’s also an assortment of gift items as well as tarot and crystal products.

“I want them (shoppers) to say they stayed longer than they anticipated and that they felt like they were hanging out with friends, just that sense of losing track of time and trying things on or staying for a cup of tea,” she said.

Employees will brew tea to sample in the store and offer it in compostable cups along with recycled and recyclable bags.

Jamison easily hired a team of three, she said.

“They’re excited about retail and sustainability and fair trade, and they found me, so that was a huge weight off my shoulders,” she said.

Visitors for First Friday and Saturday will be able to earn “be the change” bucks that can be used for future purchases.

“It’s that idea that small changes really do make a big difference, and one of the things I’m most proud of with my team is we’re just excited to serve the community and welcome people in,” Jamison said. “And their excitement takes my excitement to a whole new level.”

Store hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday and Wednesday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. It’s closed Tuesday.

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New downtown boutique opens with focus on sustainability

Terra Shepherd Boutique & Apothecary opens downtown today, bringing a unique mix of sustainable fashion and natural products to Phillips Avenue.

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