by Cori Hilsgen
A new boutique store located at the corner of Main Street and College Avenue is offering customers a little “Retail Therapy.” In fact, the name of the store is “Retail Therapy Boutique.”
Owner Kayla Welz-Schultzetenberg is excited to meet and get to know new customers.
The boutique is the result of Welz-Schultzetenberg’s dream to own her own business. During her college years she sold purses and wallets as a home-based consultant. She said she enjoyed helping customers find accessories to showcase their personalities. Growing up, she also often worked with her parents at their craft fair booths.
Welz-Schultzetenberg said the boutique is a place of fun and shopping. It offers a relaxing shopping environment with a store full of jewelry, handbags, scarves, home décor, gourmet foods, gifts, baby and children’s items, a man cave area and more. Many items are unique and different from what you may find at other stores. Some of the items sold at the boutique are made locally. Everything in the store is priced $60 and under to keep it affordable for all shoppers.
“We have a very large variety of items to try to offer something for everyone,” Welz-Schultzetenberg said.
She said she and her family have always enjoyed shopping in little shops that have their own character.
“My customers will notice I have used antique furniture for the displays,” she said. “I believe it adds character to the store.”
The furniture used in the store mostly comes from friends and family. Some of it has been handed down five generations in her family.
Welz-Schultzetenberg said she is getting a lot of support from her family for her new business venture. Her husband, Paul Schulzetenberg, and her parents, Deb and Jim Welz, have invested a lot of time and energy. They have helped with the construction and painting of the store. They have also helped unpacking items and organize; they will also help staff the boutique during major events.
Paul, a human resources manager at Artic Cold Storage in St. Cloud, is often at the boutique on evenings and weekends. The Welzes have some of their crafts such as wooden pumpkins, scarves and other items for sale. Both enjoy crafts but also work other careers. Jim is a line superintendent at Stearns Electric Association and Deb is an operations manager at Heartland Security Services.
Customers will also see some of Welz-Schultzetenberg’s photographs and children photo-shoot accessories displayed in the boutique.
Welz-Schultzetenberg plans to be at the store daily when she is not at the market shopping for items.
“I hope to get to know my customers so when I go to the market I will have their wants and needs in mind as I shop for items for the boutique,” she said.
Welz-Schultzetenberg grew up in the Melrose area. She has an older brother and sister. Paul grew up in the Spring Hill area. He is an identical twin and has three brothers and one sister. The couple lives in St. Joseph.
Welz-Schultzetenberg said one of the things she enjoyed most about growing up in Melrose was she could walk into almost any of the local businesses and they knew her by name. She said they have found St. Joseph to be similar and have found it to be very welcoming.
“St. Joseph feels similar to me. It’s small enough that it’s easy to meet new people and be a part of the community,” she said.
Welz-Schultzetenberg is a licensed therapist. She earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology at St. Cloud State University and her master’s degree in counseling psychology at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks, N.D. Before opening the store, she was a mental-health therapist and provided in-home therapy for families in five different counties and also at an intensive day-treatment program.
She said it was a hard decision to change her career path, but said the timing was right and things seemed to fall into place for her to pursue her other passion which is shopping.
“I went into the business because I love working with people and have always wanted to own my own retail business,” Welz-Schultzetenberg said. “It was the right time in my life to take this big risk because of the community we moved in to, the support from my husband and family, and the eagerness the city had for us to bring our business to the community.”
She said choosing the name Retail Therapy evolved from combining her passion of working with people and shopping. The women in her family have used the term “retail therapy” for years.
“When the stress becomes too much,” she said, “we call for a day of retail therapy and we know just what that means.”
She said the City of St. Joseph was very supportive in helping find a location that was available and continues to support her in networking locally for services for the business.
Store hours are 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Saturday. Welz-Schultzetenberg plans to have the store open during the Millstream Arts Festival and will extend hours for the holidays. She is also planning an open-house weekend in October. The store phone number is 320-557-0177.
Possible Breakout box:
Retail Therapy Boutique
Hours: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday
Telephone number: 320-557-0177
Owner: Kayla Welz-Schulzetenberg
Husband: Paul Schulzetenberg
Hobbies and interests: Spending time at the family cabin, enjoying the simple things in life and capturing smiles as a photographer.