CENTRAL CITY — Magnolias Boutique at 1702 16th Ave. in Central City started out as a salon five years ago. But in the last year, owners Courtney Root and Michelle Gulbrandson have expanded their business to include boutique items.
Root and Gulbrandson have roots deep in Central City and Merrick County.
“We have both lived in this area all of our lives,” Root said.
Root and Gulbrandson got the idea about five years ago to partner in opening a salon.
“We purchased a home and with the help of our families we renovated it into a salon and spa space,” she said.
While doing this, Root said they also had a vision of adding something more they could offer our community.
“We started offering jewelry and some clothing and home décor in the small space that we had available,” she said.
Root and Gulbrandson eventually saw the need in the community for a larger offering of clothing retail.
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“We needed more space to do that so decided to renovate the garage on the property and add a structure to connect the salon and boutique,” Root said.
They were able to open in October 2021.
“Our community has embraced this dream of ours and we feel so blessed,” Root said.
She said that she and Gulbrandson strive to offer a “‘middle-of-the-road” style that fits all generations of our community.
“One of the things that makes our boutique unique is the sizing we offer,” Root said.
She said they offer sizes small through 3XL in most styles.
“Some other things that are important to us, is to maintain a freshness to our boutique by having new styles arriving almost weekly and keeping the price affordable to everyone,” Root said.
The expansion into a boutique came during the pandemic.
“We decided to be creative because, during the pandemic, we unfortunately had to close down for a couple of months,” Root said. “We knew that if this were gonna happen again, we wanted to be able to have something that we could continue to work with and offer our community and not have to go places to find these things.”
Both Root and Gulbrandson are licensed salon operators. Root said when she was growing up, her mother owned a wedding gown shop in Central City. Other than that, neither Root and Gulbrandson had experienced in the clothing business before opening their shop. But the venture had been successful in its first year.
Being a boutique that caters to clothing styles and accessories for women of all ages that are both affordable and fashionable, Root said that makes Magnolias Boutique “unique and different.
“We’re kind of the middle of the road,” Root said. “We take pride in that because we’re not super trendy and fashionable. Our pieces, though, are still trendy and fashionable in that you feel comfortable in wearing them. It’s something that’s not out of your comfort zone.
“It can go from all ages, so the same piece can be great and trendy for a really young person but also, somebody who’s maybe a little bit older, she can still wear that same piece and make it their own.”
A special feature at Magnolias Boutique is the wish list program where a woman can pick out something she likes and a significant other or family member can then stop into the boutique and buy clothing for her.
“It has been going really well,” Root said. “Sometimes you miss the size and you miss the kind of clothing that your wife or girlfriend would feel comfortable wearing.”
Since opening Magnolia Boutique, Root said business has been good.
“We feel very blessed to be in the community that we are in and the surrounding communities have embraced us.” she said.
Central City is a booming city with a new hospital, new gymnasium, a historical society building and many other things opening soon. Magnolia Boutique is one of many new businesses or expanding businesses that are helping to grow Central City.
Magnolias is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday; 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday; and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.
More information can be found online at www.magnoliassalon-boutique.com or on the boutique’s Facebook page.