There are some changes on the horizon... Read below to find out what they are!
I started my online boutique as a way to learn about business, get the name of Darling Daughter Co out there - not just online but in my community - and to be at home with my baby. It has been so fun and a great learning experience and has only ignited my passions even more.
However, the ultimate goal has always been to set up a brick-and-mortar boutique with a coffeeshop in my town, Clearbrook, Minnesota, when the time was right. And I believe the time is now right to focus my efforts into my small town community (that I believe so desperately needs a little TLC and a whole lot of life!)
There is a historical building in Clearbrook called The Roxy. Only a few people know this but I have been dreaming about restoring The Roxy for a few months now. I always knew I wanted to "set up shop" right in Clearbrook, but I didn't know where. I thought maybe I would buy one of the diners or other businesses and renovate it to fit my business, but that never felt quite right.
One day I looked at The Roxy while driving through town. I was thinking about how it felt like such a "man's town," even though there are so many women and children, so many families. I was feeling a little sad because I know the town has such great potential and I also know there are no efforts being made to make it a more family-friendly, fun community.
When I came upon The Roxy, the historical theatre, I instantly saw my vision come to life. I saw a warm, welcoming coffeeshop and cafe with delicious drinks and food, a unique and trendy boutique full of clothing, home decor, furnishings and gifts, and a place for parents to let their children play while they eat, drink, shop and hang out. The designated kids' area would be a fun, exciting place for babies and kids of all ages to be watched and entertained by responsible volunteers. There are so many moms in the area that I know are in need of more places they can go and bring their kids, but also somewhere they can go to get a break, meet with friends, relax, etc, without having to pay for expensive and very hard-to-come-by daycare. There are also no local shops or boutiques if you need a gift, to furnish or decorate a home, or a new outfit. In fact, you have to drive 45 minutes for any of that. There is nothing currently exciting in Clearbrook - other than the pool open during the summer - and I believe this will really ignite an infectious excitement in the town that will spread like wildfire!
Because the building needs a lot of work the city doesn’t want to do anything with it beyond using it for small events and parties, and they’ve said they would sell it to someone for a dollar as long as the person kept the historical integrity of it, which is what I plan to do. I want to bring it back to life not tear it down! If I bought The Roxy, I would also buy the large grass lot next to it to have outdoor seating, a food truck and a warm, welcoming experience consistent with the inside so the four seasons of northern Minnesota can truly be enjoyed and more events can happen. Events like outdoor movie nights and small concerts and family nights and so much more could be held on this lot! The lot is $20,000.
I also estimate that the cost to renovate the building, bring it up to code and make it the ultimate experience is about $300,000. If I bought the building and the lot right away, I could immediately start planning and preparing a fundraising event to invite the community and surrounding towns to be a part of this wonderful new concept! I could find investors and donors and start the process of renovating.
TO SUM IT UP
As I have said there is nothing like this in Cleabrook, and it is much needed. When you drive through the town of 500 you can see very plainly that it is in need of some life, but also that it has so much potential. We have the basic necessities of a successful small town- a grocery store, gas station, car mechanic, pizzeria, school, bank, hardware store, USPS, two diners, churches, factories and industrial shops, and the only outdoor pool for many miles. There is no place to get a good cup of coffee or to hangout and definitely no place to shop for clothes or home goods/gifts/furniture. There really is nothing very appealing to young adults or women or families, which I believe to be very prominent demographics in the area. I know that if there were some place like this right in town, it would be constantly busy. And not just that, but it would liven up the town and really help to build up the community!
If I were to win Nav's Small Business Grant for $10,000, I would be able to buy the Roxy and the lot as the first step in making this dream into a reality and bettering the community. I would truly love to be able to drive down the main strip and see more families out and about, more moms walking with their kids, more kids running around playing with their friends, more men and women enjoying their town... And altogether more life!
HOW YOU CAN HELP
Visit Darling Daughter Co on Facebook (facebook.com/darlingdaughterco) and share the pinned post which is my entry to Nav's Small Business Grant! "Like" Darling Daughter Co and stay up to date on all the upcoming changes!
Spread the word! Tell your family, friends and random strangers about Darling Daughter Co. Send them to darlingdaughterco.com to shop for some fun new clothes and help support a small business :)
Thank you so much to everyone who has supported my business and believed in my dreams. It truly means so much to me!