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Handpick'd Boutique shopping for its Jamestown 'family'

Handpick'd Boutique is a women's clothing shop offering a variety of styles to local shoppers.

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Handpick'd Boutique staff include Melissa Brass, left, owner, Kaylie Harlow, center, visual stylist, and Torrey Herrington, manager.
John M. Steiner / The Jamestown Sun
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Melissa Brass was having conversations with more than just the students and faculty while she was working in the Jamestown Public School District.

"Before I opened the business and I kind of just had conversations with locals around town asking what they thought we needed and what they were looking for," Brass said. "I knew I wanted to do something in small business in Jamestown but I just didn't know what."

The results of her conversations led Brass to her eventual business plan.

"A lot of what people said was that there wasn't a lot of options for clothing," Brass said. "There weren't a lot of places to go that had a lot of unique, fun and different styles and I love to shop so we kind of killed two birds with one stone."

Brass is the owner and general manager of Jamestown's Handpick'd Boutique, a women's clothing shop that offers a wide range of unique clothing styles to local and cross country customers.

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Brass said her shop also offers jewelry, accessories and bath and body products that are sourced out of Oregon.

"The biggest thing for me in small business is just listening to your customer," Brass said. "We ask people, 'what are you looking for?'

"When we go down to these markets, I am (people's) personal shopper. We're just here for Jamestown. We want to make the ladies feel really excited to be here and uplift them in any way we can. It's become more like family."

All families need a home type-setting, she said.

Brass said even prior to acquiring the space on 121 Business Loop West strip mall, she and her support team drew up a plan and vision for the space that would eventually become Handpick'd.

"It needed to be an experience," Brass said of her vision for her business. "Ladies shop here because they like to be here. They like the atmosphere of Handpick'd, it's an experience for them. It's not like going into the department-style stores. It's cozy and it's warm.

"We have ladies who aren't looking to buy anything but they just want to stop by because they feel good in the space and they've had a stressful day."

The shop tends to welcome women of all different ages to its cozy and homey-type atmosphere.

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"I feel like our demographic is anywhere from the 20-year-old who is looking for a baggy sweatshirt to pair with their leggings to the working people who are looking for dress pants and dress clothes all the way to the retired ladies who like the more casual styles," Brass said.

"Jamestown has been our bread and butter. I would say 85% of our sales are brick-and-mortar sales right here in Jamestown."

The shop also offers online shopping at handpickdboutique.com .
Brass said throughout any given year, anywhere from 12-15% of Handpick'd's sales occur online.

While the shop has shipped to the lower 48 states, a good portion of the online sales are staying local thanks to the free delivery features that are offered to Jamestown customers.

The boutique's online features and consistent shop hours kept Brass and her team strong and the business growing throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

"Our customers are the reason that we keep rolling, moving and improving on how we provide customer service and how we move as a business," Brass said.

"I appreciate them so much for shopping with small and trusting that we will do our best for them. They've become family. Without them, we wouldn't be here."
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Handpick'd Boutique

121 Business Loop W
Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Tuesday; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday-Thursday; 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday; 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.

Katie Ringer is a sports reporter for the Jamestown Sun. Katie joined the Sun staff in the summer of 2019 after graduating from the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire with a degree in journalism. She can be reached by email at kringer@jamestownsun.com or by phone at 701-952-8460.
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