Taylor Hagen, who worked for six years at Buckle, has moved to a different location in Uptown Aberdeen.
Monday, Hagen became the owner of The Boss Baby Boutique, which sells children’s and maternity clothing. The Boss Baby Boutique also offers a multitude of accessories such as backpacks, nightlights, sunglasses and more.
Hagen has a few ideas she wants to implement to make improvements to how the business operates.
One is expanding the store’s maternity clothing selection.
“Even my friends want extended size maternity stuff, so that’s something I’ve been looking into. Just having a lot more options because maternity is … its own category. You have petite maternity, and there’s normal maternity and extended size maternity, so I would like to expand into that a little bit more,” she said.
Hagen said Walmart and Target do have some options for maternity shopping, but she hopes to sell a variety of different styles.
Another focus of hers is being open for in-person shopping. She’s changing the store’s hours.
The Boss Baby Boutique’s hours are Tuesdays through Saturdays from 11 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. It will be closed Mondays.
The boutique first opened in 2018 as an online-only store by then-owner Kelsea Schwab. Just two weeks before the COVID-19 pandemic hit the area, Schwab opened her storefront at the mall.
“Based off of (Schwab’s) numbers, she had more of an online presence, but again the store has kind of not been open quite as much,” Hagen said. “I think online would be a good starting point. … When things start to pick back up, I think people would love to come into the store, but just making sure they have the online option would be great.”
While the storefront is in Aberdeen, she hopes she can attract shoppers from across northeastern South Dakota.
“Making sure to reach even smaller towns in the (region) like Redfield, Groton, all that area,” Hagen said. “My main concern is making sure that people know that we’re here.”
While she worked at Buckle, she gained experience managing and implementing COVID-19 precautions.
“I feel like I have a good grasp on it just from working in a corporate company in Buckle. I know a lot of the protocols that they have put in place just by themselves I would love to carry over here, like cleaning the dressing rooms between each person,” Hagen said.
The Boss Baby Boutique will not require shoppers to wear their masks, but they are encouraged.
This is the first time Hagen has owned a business, and she’s excited about it.
“I’m very excited. I mean I’ve done retail my whole life since I started working at 16. And then working at Buckle, I started from part time and moved my way up to assistant manager,” she said. “That’s been great and I love it, and I’ve learned so much.”
Along with retail experience, Hagen also brings business skills. She has a business degree from Northern State University.
“I know a lot about (business), but just working at Buckle itself has taught me more than anything could about people and running a business and all that kind of stuff,” Hagen said.
She will also use her social media experience to promote the boutique and hopes that will drive more sales.
“I’m pretty good with social media, so even with online deliveries, stuff like that, (Schwab) had been really pushing that kind of stuff through, too,” Hagen said.
She hopes to travel to markets and learn about different vendors and clothing lines to sell their goods. Markets are in cities such as Minneapolis, Dallas and Atlanta, she said.
“I’d like to hit the bigger ones just to see everything and learn the lay of the land,” Hagen said.
For now, she hopes that sales continue through the pandemic and she’s able to expand in the future.
“Right now, my main goal is just to have the doors open … so I’m excited just to have people come and check it out,” Hagen said.
News and notes
- At the Feb. 11 Aberdeen Planing and Zoning Committee meeting, the board will hear from various people regarding new businesses. Records show the former Max & Erma’s building, 715 N. 10th St., is on the property where a car wash and a primary structure addition are proposed.
- The committee will also hear propositions for mini storage lockers at 218 N. Main St.
- Legislative cracker barrels will continue this weekend, and there will be on Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon at the Jewett Theater in the Johnson Fine Arts Center at Northern State University.