ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Ladies View offers clothing, products from Ireland

Cheryl Fowler opened her boutique in 2018.

Warehouse West 6 irish goods owner 021022.jpg
Cheryl Fowler seeks out unique items for her boutique, Ladies View, which is located in Warehouse West.
John M. Steiner / The Jamestown Sun
We are part of The Trust Project.

Cheryl Fowler didn’t intend to open her own business after years in the workforce. But she’s found a new passion to help women find classy and timeless clothing, launching Ladies View in the Warehouse West building.

Fowler had worked in office settings, raised a family and then later stopped working, opting to travel with her husband. But it didn’t last long, she said.

“And that’s when I came to work for Garden Gate (in 2014),” she said. “I had never worked in food and I had never worked in retail.”

Fowler worked in the kitchen at Garden Gate and after it closed, Bonnie Hansen, the owner of Warehouse West, decided to open her own business, Comfort.

Comfort is a small restaurant that also has decor and other merchandise for sale. Fowler was enlisted to cook and bake at Comfort.

ADVERTISEMENT

“And so May 1, 2018, we opened … Bonnie did, and after going through that summer I just got this wild idea, I’d like to have a little boutique,” Fowler said.

Ladies View opened in September 2018. Fowler also continues to work in the kitchen at Comfort.

To her, it’s the best of both worlds - fashion and food.

“When you enjoy it, you don’t feel like you’re working,” she said. “I get to come to work every day and look at pretty clothes and I get to cook. I get to bake. It’s like, how great is that. All my life I worked behind a desk.”

Ladies View

Ladies View carries women’s boutique clothing, shoes, fragrances and accessories and specializes in Celtic products.

“My biggest seller in store and has been from day one is the Inis fragrance,” she said. “Women, very few, don’t like it. It’s extremely popular.”

Warehouse West 10 irish items for sale 021022.jpg
Clothing and other products from Ireland can be found at Ladies View.
John M. Steiner / The Jamestown Sun

Fowler also carries some children’s books and puzzles illustrated by Will Moses, the great-grandson of Grandma Moses, available in North Dakota only at her boutique.

ADVERTISEMENT

Fowler said her interest in Celtic products came as a result of her heritage, having great-grandparents on both sides of her family from Ireland and Scotland.

“So I visited a few years ago, my cousin and I, for the first time, and the interest really really took off and grew from that point,” she said, in carrying Celtic products.

Fowler joined the North American Celtic Trade Association out of New Jersey, which works to put American retailers and Celtic businesses together. Through that, she said she’s acquired new lines including sweaters, knitwear, cashmere, fragrances and purses. Some of those products are exclusive to her boutique and aren’t available elsewhere in North Dakota.

When you enjoy it, you don’t feel like you’re working.
Cheryl Fowler, owner, Ladies View

Fowler noted that some of the cashmere in her boutique is made in County Clare, Ireland, and said she is the only business in the U.S. carrying it.

“To me, that’s a plus to provide something for the women in town that is uniquely theirs,” she said.

Fowler said Ireland’s becoming more known for the quality of its products, something that’s important to her for Ladies View.

“Most of the Irish products that I carry I would not classify them as trendy,” she said. “They are classics, they are timeless and they are items that will be in style today, tomorrow, 10 years from now. That is important in today’s economy, I think, to buy quality.”

Fowler said there’s a need in Jamestown and the surrounding area for boutiques like hers and the others here, noting there’s been the loss of several big box stores that carried clothing that women wore to the office.

ADVERTISEMENT

“I’m trying to bring in more and more products like that that will meet that need,” she said. “I know Christopher & Banks when they left Jamestown, that was a big blow to a lot of women. A lot of them bought their work clothes there, it was a great place to go to if you needed something very quickly. So we need that here. And the wonderful thing is, we’re seeing more of that. We’ve had in the last four years three new boutiques pop up in town. We are all a little different in what we offer.”

What’s also important for Fowler about Ladies View is having a range of prices and uniqueness in its products. She doesn’t do a lot of re-ordering, she said, or purchasing in large quantities.

“I’ve had some women quiz me on that,” she said. “They’ve asked me ‘Are these the only ones you have in the store right now?’ They love knowing they’ve got (a) one-of-a-kind purse or scarf and also like the uniqueness of items you won’t find anywhere else in North Dakota.”

Warehouse West 9 irish sweaters 021022.jpg
Sweaters from Ireland are among the inventory at Ladies View. Fowler says carrying quality products is important.
John M. Steiner / The Jamestown Sun

Fowler said Ladies View also offers clothing brands that people would expect to see in typical boutiques and she is looking at markets on the East Coast to find new products to bring to Jamestown.

Fowler said she and her husband traveled for many years with their sons for hockey while they were growing up. They visited many towns.

“What is the one thing when you go to a town and visit, say for a tournament for three days, when you come home what do you think about when you think of the visit,” she said. “... You remember the unique small businesses on their main street that you visited.”

She said small businesses hope and strive to see the community grow and noted there’s a lot of work to small businesses. She hopes that with the Bison World project and more people visiting Jamestown, those people will also in the future go home to their communities with memories of Jamestown’s small businesses.

“I think we (Jamestown) need to focus on being remembered for the uniqueness of our small businesses,” she said. “And it’s a community effort. Businesses and consumers alike, it’s a community effort. The more the small businesses are supported, they can grow. They can’t grow on their own. They can plant that seed but they can’t grow on their own. They have to be watered by the community. And the more the community supports them or waters them, so to speak, the more they can grow. They’ll branch out, bring in new products and what have you.”

————————————————————————————-

Ladies View

208 1st St. W - Warehouse West

Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday; 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday

Kathy Steiner has been the editor of The Jamestown Sun since 1995. She graduated from Valley City State College with a bachelor's degree in English and studied mass communications at North Dakota State University, Fargo. She reports on business, government and community topics in the Jamestown area. Reach her at 701-952-8449 or ksteiner@jamestownsun.com.
What to read next
Cathy Scheibe, at 82, of LaMoure, North Dakota, continues with Toy Farmer Magazine, more than 22 years after her husband and co-founder, Claire, died. She talks about how the company is changing and preparing for transitions, about how markets for toy tractors and construction equipment have been unusually strong due to the pandemic and supply chain issues for new toy commemorative projects.
The labor intensive nature of the work, the length of time it takes for an evergreen tree in North Dakota to grow to a saleable height, and the competition from “big box” stores are deterrents to raising Christmas trees, said Tom Claeys, North Dakota state forester.
The deadline for nominations is Jan. 1.
The event is Dec. 16 at Carrington.