By Jennifer McDaniel, for the Lincoln Sentinel
Best friends Haley Richards and Mandy Burger long-considered the idea of opening their own clothing boutique, but hadn’t pursued it.
While working together at 181 Ag Supply in Sylvan Grove, the two would spend hours contemplating what clothing lines and accessories they would carry.
But life got in the way, and the notion remained just that.
But eventually, they decided to take the leap earlier this year. And in a matter of months, the Sylvan Grove women developed such a following they had to find a retail location close to home to meet the growing demand.
This past weekend, Richards and Burger hosted a Christmas open house for Country Soul, their fun and funky country and western clothing boutique located smack dab in the middle of Sylvan Grove’s business district just south of Fly Boy Brewery and Eats.
While the two discussed the idea in detail for several months, Richards said it wasn’t until a business trip to Canada that it all seemed to come together.
“I went to Canada on a trip through 181 and met up with a gal that owned a boutique in Texas,” Richards said. “And she gave me the direct number to Twisted X. Once we got that dealership, we decided to expand to clothing and other items.”
By early-October, the co-owners launched their online shop through a Facebook page. And soon, they were displaying shoes and boots at 181.
“We had such an interest in our shoes and clothes, it got to be more difficult getting stuff out of the trailer, or showing people clothes when they were in boxes,” Richards said. “So we decided to open a store.”
Despite a few delays, Country Soul opened for business December 10. And on Saturday, the shop hosted a special Christmas open house, featuring door prizes, grab bags and snacks. Richards said she and Burger hope to have their grand opening sometime in January. Initially, the idea was to open a physical retail location in time for the Christmas holiday. However, the two are in talks to have the shop there permanently.
Country Soul offers women’s clothing in sizes from Small-3X and kids clothing in sizes from Infant-8/10. The shop also orders men’s and women’s Twisted X boots and shoes, a selection of one-of-a-kind jewelry, scarves, beanies, bath soaps and candles. Richards said she and Burger hope to be adding jeans soon. Other product lines featured at Country Soul include Ariat, Hooey, Crazy Train and Cheekys.
While business hours vary, the boutique is typically open from 6-9 p.m., Thursday and Friday and 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Saturday. For more information, contact Richards at 785-534-0501 and Burger at 785-531-2919 or check out the Country Soul Facebook page for updates and offers.
“We have a great selection of clothing and shoes, and also have a great atmosphere to shop in,” Richards said. “We would like to invite everyone out to see the new store … (and) we try to add new items weekly to keep our inventory new.”