FARGO — Willow District, a boutique featuring women's clothing and accessories as well as a small selection of home goods, is expected to open Friday, April 19, at 3265 45th St. S. in The Shoppes at Blu Water Creek.
Owner Yvonne Denault moved the boutique — formerly doing business as Jessie Blue — there from 716 Main Ave. earlier this year.
Denault, who is also an accomplished photographer known for pinup and boudoir photography, said she's learned a lot about what women want from owning Jessie Blue and a previous boutique known as Vivie's.
"We learned they really want simplicity," Denault said.
Their selection includes staples that can be worn year-round as well as fun pieces and accessories, Denault said. Sizes range from small to 3X.
She and Willow District Manager Cait Day try clothing on themselves before placing an order.
"When Cait and I go to market, we’ll try on the clothes. If they don’t have a generous fit or hang at a certain length, we don’t buy them. We really avoid the junior sizing as much as possible," she said.
New to Willow District is a line of custom T-Shirts with a "North Dakota-vibe" designed by Denault. She was motivated to create a Willow District line because she thought the T-shirts available at market often looked a bit childish. Day agreed and added that women often complained the designs were spread out too far or that they would hit below the chest.
"You can't wear them underneath a nice jacket and look like a 40-year-old woman," Denault said.
Also new is a small selection of home goods and accessories featuring local artisans. Examples include Scandinavian-inspired jewelry from Blak Label and Bohemian Blu handcrafted by husband-and-wife Dale and Kristen Kruger of Fargo and ceramics from Hanna Wiseman of H.Marie Ceramics, also based in Fargo.
Denault also has plans to eventually sell Willow District goods online.
"We're going to get this going and the next step will be to get online service available," she said. "Then you can do it right. I don't like doing things half-baked. I've decided in my whole simplifying-life theme to just take things one bite at a time."
Willow District will host grand opening festivities from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, April 19, and Saturday, April 20. Door prizes will include a $250 gift card; a "Mini Glam Session" with photos from Denault and hair and makeup from Kjersten at Roots Salon; three personal styling sessions; and a "Retail Therapy Soiree," a private shopping experience for the winner and seven friends.
Saturday will be extra sweet thanks to samples from Nothing Bundt Cakes, a bakery franchise expected to open soon in West Fargo, from 1 to 3 p.m.
Willow District will also take part in The Thaw, a shopping event from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. May 2 organized by The Shoppes at Blu Water Creek. The event will feature over $7,000 in prizes and giveaways and will include businesses along 45th Street from The Tavern Grill south to A Cutting Edge and the surrounding area.
Denault calls it a "winter is over" celebration meant to introduce shoppers to what's available at The Shoppes at Blu Water Creek.
She and Day are both looking forward to seeing former customers of Jessie Blue as well as meeting new ones.
After being closed since January, Day said it's "going to be nice to have our customers back."
"It's not a job to me, it's a passion. I loved having women come in and styling them," Day said. "I loved seeing them walk out smiling because they had found a piece they felt confident in. That makes coming to work everyday so easy."