FARGO -- Mainstream Boutique, a women's clothing and accessories boutique at 2603 Kirsten Lane S., is under new ownership.
Gunel Huseynova purchased the franchise from its original owner Hollie Differding, who opened the store here in June of 2013. Based in Minneapolis, the Mainstreet Boutique franchise currently has 80 locations across the U.S.
A native of Azerbaijan, Huseynova moved to Fargo eight years ago with her husband, Fariz Huseynov, an associate professor of finance at North Dakota State University.
Huseynova earned a master's degree in international relations and European studies at the University of Strasbourg in France. When they first moved to Fargo, she was a stay-at-home mom. It was then she said she became interested in fashion.
"I started writing a blog on fashion and shopping. I wrote about stores in Fargo and about fashion trends and events," she said.
It was her husband who encouraged her to go a step further and purchase her own store.
"My husband, he played a big role in it. He's very supportive. He was the one who encouraged me to start this and become a business owner," Huseynova said. "It really makes a difference when your spouse supports you."
She describes the clothes at Mainstream Boutique as "trendy, but still something comfortable." She said a favorite with customers is Mainstream Boutique's private label, Mac and Me.
Running her own store has been "exciting, but a big learning process," she said. Once she gets settled, Huseynova said her goal is to give back to the community.
"Eight years ago I moved to Fargo from a small country called Azerbaijan, thousands of miles away. Being away from family and friends wasn't easy, but this great community of friendly and kind people have always made me feel welcome," she said. "I am very happy to call Fargo home and I am glad that now I have a chance to welcome you at my store."