AP NEWS

Rustic Roseanna Boutique brings fashion to Columbus

February 16, 2019

What started off as a suggestion has quickly turned into a booming business.

Toni Pelc has owned and operated Avenue Salon & Nail Spa at 2778 33rd Ave. in Columbus since May 2010. Throughout the years, the full-time hair stylist and nail technician has rented out sections of the building to other independent stylists. But, a string of vacancies left much of the room unused.

It was in August 2017 that a customer suggested she turn an unused corner section of the salon into a boutique. Pelc brought the idea to her niece, Nicole “Nikki” Brown, and the duo got to work. Rustic Roseanna Boutique launched the following September.

“We knew nothing about what we were doing. I just started doing research,” Brown said. “And we just kind of jumped right into it.”

The shop offers a variety of women’s clothing, jewelry, candles and bath and body products. The store’s name is in honor of Pelc’s mother/Brown’s grandmother.

Pelc said the corner store has been a hit with her customers. It’s a common sight to see people browsing the clothing racks while waiting for an appointment.

“My clients love it. It gives them something to do when they’re waiting,” Pelc said. “If I’m running behind (or) if they’re getting a color, they’re able to just shop. So I think it has been a good response.”

Pelc manages the boutique while running her salon and Brown is responsible for managing the store’s website, social media channels and inventory. She helps out as much as she can while working full time as a child care provider.

Recently, the boutique was repainted and additional shelving was installed. The two owners said they’re grateful for all the hard work their husbands do in regard to building shelves and clothing racks for the shop.

Since the boutique is already inside an existing business, Brown said they don’t have to worry about affording overhead and can pass the savings on to the customer. The shop’s inventory is targeted at the salon’s clients. As Pelc gets to know her frequent clients, she said it becomes easier to figure out which products to carry.

“Our shoppers, I think, we’ve kind of learned their tastes a little more. So it makes it a little easier,” Pelc said.

Brown said small and specialized boutiques have been popping up in recent years due to a resurgence in customers wanting to know who they’re buying from.

“There’s a trend of people who just like to shop small,” Brown said. “They like to know who they’re shopping from.”

Rustic Roseanna Boutique can be reached at rusticroseanna@gmail.com. To browse the shop’s inventory online, visit www.rusticroseannaboutique.com.

Eric Schucht is a reporter for The Columbus Telegram. Reach him via email at eric.schucht@lee.net.