In August of 2018, Downtown Charlevoix gained a new women’s boutique that quickly became a hit for visitors and residents alike. The summer of 2020 was exciting as Thistle relocated to their new home at 205 Bridge Street. The new location boasts historic charm with a hint of modern flare that owner Deidre Weller combines so well.
Charlevoix Main Street recently did a Q&A with the owner of Thistle, Deidre Weller.
CMS: What precautions are you taking to protect your employees and customers from Covid-19? How have you had to shift your business model in response to the pandemic?
DW: We feel a tremendous responsibility to do everything we can to keep our team and customers safe during these uncertain times. This includes following or exceeding all CDC, health department, and regulatory requirements for cleaning, wearing masks, and maintaining safe distance. We have shifted our business by offering personal shopping appointments and curbside and local delivery. A huge thank you goes out to the entire thistle team who have adapted incredibly well to accommodate all the new requirements this past year.
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 among 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, Spanx, Up Country dog collars, Effie's Heart, Apricot, and Swan Creek Candles.
CMS: What is something unique about your store/business?
DW: 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.
What customers are saying:
"Deidre is awesome and I found the prettiest dress at her store this summer for a special occasion!" - Erika Kilkenny
"Beautiful store with a wide range of styles for every taste." - Sandra Hathaway
"Thistle has really unique and charming apparel and accessories." - Denise Fate