Mobile boutique owner Marsha Von Arx of Hokah came to a screeching halt in Spring Grove earlier this spring. After running an in-home daycare in Hokah for 30 years and working as a pre-school assistant at St. Mary’s Catholic Schools in Caledonia, Von Arx can be found hosting events and helping customers select the perfect outfit at Spring Grove’s only women’s boutique.
Von Arx explained, “Back in early February, I was approached by two building owners in a nearby town, wondering if I would be interested in renting one of their buildings and putting in a brick-and-mortar boutique.” After asking residents about opening a boutique in their town and getting a resounding yes, she received a message from Jenn Gulbranson’s sister-in-law. She said Von Arx needed to get together with Gulbranson about opening a boutique in Spring Grove.
Over a year ago, Gulbranson and her husband remodeled the historic building at 106 West Main Street, home to her hair salon, Stratford Salon, and West Main Boutique. As the owner of two businesses, wife, and mother of five children, Gulbranson is busy. So, she reached out to Von Arx, and the rest is history.
“There is no better person to run this store with me. She is creative all on her own. She came so equipped to have a brick-and-mortar store that I did not have to teach her anything. This is the beautiful partnership that I wanted. I wanted an integrator. I wanted to have an idea and them to run with it. I have learned so much from her. She is good with displays and connecting with people. She is good at event planning and has a hostess mentality. That is exactly what this town wanted. It is exactly what Spring Grove needs, a gathering place for women to hang out together. Eat, drink, and laugh,” described Gulbranson.
West Main & Co.
After feeling a connection with Gulbranson and realizing that their values on family, goal setting, passion for people coincided, Von Arx went home, talked to her husband, and with her husband’s and children’s blessing, she started on her new journey.
“We are going to rock it,” exclaimed the West Main & Co. new business partner, Von Arx. “Jenn and I are so ready to begin this journey. We look forward to making new friends and helping people feel confident and beautiful.”
Within a couple of weeks, the boutique was full and looking fantastic. Von Arx opened the following Saturday to a tremendous amount of positive and friendly shoppers that welcomed her to Spring Grove and were excited to have a boutique in the town.
The store is currently open Saturdays from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., and any day that Von Arx is not working at St. Mary’s Catholic School and is not watching her grandsons. As of June 1, the boutique will be open full-time. The ladies will celebrate their partnership with a re-grand opening the first week of June with a ribbon-cutting and many treasures and goodies.
A classy new sign will be hung soon, drawing people into the store. They will be serving freshly roasted coffee from Spring Grove’s Heart Rock Coffee Shop. The outside will be inviting with tables, chairs, and umbrellas. Von Arx explained, “This way if a group of friends comes in to shop and some are finished shopping, they can enjoy a cup of coffee outside and socialize.”
The store will be carrying women’s trendy fashion sizes small to 3XL, jewelry, a selection of small business items, candles, home goods, purses, accessories, lotions, a CBD line, local coffee and coffee grinders, charcuterie boards, and more. In addition, the store plans to add footwear to its inventory.
Familiar boutique brands that customers will find at West Main & Co. include Easel, Listicle, Risen Jeans, Entro, and Kori America.
The store is targeting young and older women of all ages. “We want to make them feel confident no matter what size and shape they are. We want them to be stylish and feel good in what they are wearing,” explained Von Arx.
“Jenn and I have so many things planned for this boutique and Spring Grove,” described Von Arx. Plans include Summer Market on Main, lady’s nights, holiday shopping, photoshoots with models, men’s nights, and vendor spotlight on Saturdays.
The store will also have special shopping hours for women or girls wanting to get together, celebrate a birthday with friends, or just a particular shopping time for a group they love to be with. Contact Marsha to schedule your get-together at West Main & Co. Marsha and Jenn will make it a memorable night.
June 26 is Summer Market on Main, in the park. The summer market will feature many small local businesses on main street and in the park. Von Arx stated, “We live to support local businesses.”
Starting Tuesday, June 1, will be Marsha’s first full-time day at the store. Regular hours will be Mondays 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Tuesdays 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Wednesdays noon – 7 p.m., Thursdays 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Fridays 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Saturdays 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., and closed on Sundays. The store will stay open late on Farmers Market nights (Wednesdays) until 7 p.m. Contact Von Arx at (608) 780-3407 and remember to friend the boutique’s Facebook page and follow them on Instagram.