FARGO—Riley Bader couldn't decide between cosmetology and fashion as she was finishing high school, so she's doing both.
After learning the trade at Josef's School of Hair Design in Fargo, Bader moved back to her hometown of Bismarck to start doing hair. But her "obsession" with fashion didn't end there, and the 21-year-old recently opened her second women's clothing store in the state.
PrimRose Boutique's Fargo store, 616 Main Ave., opened in mid-July, setting up shop in a leased space that formerly housed technology company Codelation.
Bader said she knew she wanted to be downtown to capitalize on the built-in foot traffic of regulars and visitors shopping at a growing number of retail establishments.
"I haven't done any advertising yet, and it's been good every day so far," she said.
She opened her first PrimRose Boutique, a much smaller store inside her mother's Body Connection spa in Bismarck, about a year ago.
Women's clothing boutiques are becoming a common sight in downtown Fargo. Just on the single block where PrimRose opened, fellow clothing stores Lot 2029 and Kittsona also sell fashion and accessories, and several other boutiques are located within a few blocks.
But Bader said each store has its own style, sizing options and price range to stand out, and fellow boutique owners have helped her get the store off the ground as the trained hair stylist dives into business ownership.
Bader admits she's not really sure how she got into fashion, but she certainly has a passion for it.
In her teenage years, she considered pursuing a career in fashion design. It's still something she'd like to do someday.
But she also loves doing hair, and Bader has worked at MyComb Salon, 4265 45th St. S., since moving to Fargo a couple months ago.
For now, the demands of owning a store have proven to be more work than Bader expected. Even with a small staff of a few employees, she said she ends up at PrimRose Boutique just about every day, day or night.
"You have to really want to do this," she said.
But she said she feels rewarded with her work to find clothes from several different vendors at trade shows with the goal of carrying affordable products for everyone, whether it's a teenager or a senior citizen. That includes a focus on carrying plus-sizes, she said, something that many boutiques don't offer.
She'll also be involved with Fargo Fashion Week, happening Sept. 5-8 at Avalon Events Center, 2525 9th Ave. S., to showcase some of her store's products.
Bader said her goal is to eventually be a full-time hair stylist with more of a behind-the-scenes role as owner of the store. That'll come with time, she said.
She might even be able to add a couple of chairs inside PrimRose Boutique and open her own hair salon right inside the store.
But she admits her willingness to pursue big dreams at a young age could also be a weakness, and she's learned to try to focus on one thing at a time rather than do it all.
"If I could just do everything in my head, I would do it so fast because I'm like that," she said with a chuckle. "I need to slow down and do this for a while."
What: PrimRose Boutique
Where: 616 Main Ave., Fargo
Hours: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday
Phone: (701) 715-0033