In August of 2018, Downtown Charlevoix gained a new women’s boutique that quickly became a hit for visitors and residents alike. Charlevoix Main Street recently did a Q&A with the owner of Thistle, Deidre Weller.
CMS: Why did you want to be a small business owner?
DW: It has always been a dream of mine to open a women's boutique. I love supporting small business. The personal aspect you get with small businesses is very special.
CMS: Why did you choose to open a business downtown Charlevoix?
DW: I have vacationed in the Charlevoix area throughout my life. The town always felt like home to me and there is a great sense of community. Downtown Charlevoix is historic, fresh, beautiful, quaint, fun, welcoming, peaceful, invigorating, and supportive. Essentially, I see Charlevoix as being able to provide a lot of variety to all those who live and visit here.
CMS: What do you enjoy most about living and working in the Charlevoix area?
DW: The beauty of the area is breathtaking. I also love the size of Charlevoix; it is small and intimate but big enough to offer a lot of options for shopping, dining, and entertainment. There is a great sense of community amongst the locals here and people genuinely support the downtown business community.
CMS: Tell us a little bit about your store.
DW: I describe the boutique as "sophisticated casual." Our mission is to provide guests with an exceptional shopping experience, offering unique and stylish options in a comfortable and elegant setting. We live our mission by making each person who visits the boutique feel welcome and trying to make their visit special. We offer a variety of women's clothing, at various price points, as well as jewelry, accessories, candles, bath and body products, and dog toys and accessories. Some of the brands we carry include: Tyler Boe, Mystree, DL1961 denim, Isle, Kerisma, Red Dirt Road, M Rena, Cartise, Spanx, Up Country dog collars, Beekman 1802, and Swan Creek Candles.
CMS: Wow! Some of those brands we have never heard of, and some are brands that all women know and love.
CMS: What is something unique about your store/business?
DW: The thing people notice right away is how calming the atmosphere is. I had a vision in my head that I had been cultivating for many years before I finally was able to pursue my dream of owning my own boutique. It was important to me to have a space that was inviting, comfortable, and a little Avant Garde. We don't carry every item available but what we have has been specially selected for its uniqueness, versatility, and style.
CMS: What is the best thing about your business?
DW: TIE-- 1) Interacting with guests. I love getting to meet new people and connect with returning guests every day. The ability to make a positive impression and share common interests and experiences with our customers is the most rewarding part of being a small business owner. 2) The opportunity to continue to learn and grow. I always say that since I started this adventure "every day has been a learning experience". Some of those experiences have been better than others but they are all worthwhile.
CMS: Do you use any resources available through Charlevoix Main Street?
DW: From the very beginning of this journey, Main Street DDA and Lindsey Dotson have been there to assist me in any way possible. I look to the organization as a cornerstone of my business. The opportunities offered, including grant opportunities, meetings and seminars, and general resources are amazing. Even when all you need is someone to bounce an idea off, Lindsey is available and willing to help.
Visit Deidre in her store Thistle during the month of April 2019 and download the 'Life in Charlevoix' mobile app for a special deal!