SIOUX CITY — The owner of clothing boutique that opened in the street level of the level historic Davidson Building this summer sees a lot of opportunity in the Sioux City apparel market.
Rooted Boutique, a higher-end clothing retailer for women and men, opened in a roughly 2,200-square-foot space on the ground floor of the Davidson Building, 505 Sixth St., on July 16. Their grand opening was commemorated with a fashion show in the adjacent Warrior Hotel.
Emily Vollmar, of Holstein, founded Rooted Boutique in her attic in 2016. A stay-at-home mom, Vollmar had discovered that professional, educated women in the Ida County community of about 1,500 were in need of clothing options. There wasn’t much available locally.
“All of them were busy working, and didn’t have time to drive to the city, Omaha, Des Moines, wherever, to go shopping,” Vollmar said.
Some of the women would purchase clothes from online sources and keep the garments, even if they didn’t particularly love them.
So Vollmar opened a boutique with a carefully selected line of apparel. The name “Rooted” was a reference to Vollmar’s roots in Holstein. This later became a “mobile pop-up boutique” when the operation moved into a snowmobile trailer. On Black Friday, 2018, the boutique moved into a storefront in Holstein, where it remains.
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“We quickly realized that, the demand was there, and no one was meeting it,” she said.
Last November, Sioux City’s Small Business Saturday morphed into four Small Business Saturdays (termed “Small Business Marketplace”), and Rooted Boutique opened a temporary shop in downtown Sioux City. They soon found loyal and enthusiastic customers, and Vollmar became determined to open a permanent store in Sioux City.
A tour of the stylish Warrior Hotel-Davidson property — the recently refurbished downtown hotel, apartments, dining and entertainment and retail space — convinced Vollmar that she’d found the perfect place for her store.
“It always kind of intrigued me, the Sioux City market, the fact that it was wide open for a store like ours,” she said.
She wasn’t alone in sensing opportunity. As the realtor who helped Vollmar find the space put it: “‘There is money to be spent in Sioux City, but people have nowhere to spend it. They’re going to Omaha and they’re going to Sioux Falls,'” she said.
Where the Holstein store had specialized in womenswear, the Sioux City location expanded its product line to also include menswear.
The boutique is the first, and at present only, retailer to open in the refurbished Warrior or Davidson. It’s also one of relatively few retailers with a physical presence in downtown Sioux City.
Lila Plambeck, the director of marketing for the Warrior, said that other Warrior-Davidson retailers are “in the works,” and that more information about them should be available “in the near future.”
The boutique’s Davidson space, with its massive windows facing Pierce and Sixth streets, white walls, imitation white marble flooring and black accents, is “very bright” and “minimalistic,” with “that big city, chic, department-store feel,” Vollmar said.
“We really designed the space to allow the clothing to be the focus, and the star of the show,” she said.
All of the store’s merchandise — roughly 30 brands of women’s and men’s clothing, shoes, jewelry and accessories — is hand-selected by Vollmar during her frequent trips to “market” (convention-like events in the fashion industry, where apparel vendors bring their latest offerings) in Chicago, Minneapolis and Dallas.
Customers apparently like to tell their friends where they found their new outfits.
“A lot of our advertising has been word-of-mouth, which we love,” said store manager Afton Wulf. The store has something for everyone, Wulf said — high school students and grandmothers alike.