FAIRMONT - With a front wall of windows and a downtown location right next to the historic Fairmont Opera House, Amber Schultz knew exactly where she wanted her clothing boutique from the moment she started planning the venture.
This week, she quietly opened the shop. Any fanfare that has followed has come from the shoppers.
"New boutique in Fairmont!! Go. Shop. It's amazing," said one new fan on her Facebook page.
Amber Schultz is the owner of Ivy Blu, a new boutique that opened this week in Fairmont.
With no formal training in fashion or design, Schultz is going off of instinct with the clothing and accessories she is choosing for Ivy Blu Boutique, and it seems to be working.
"I'm very impressed with how my first few days have gone," said Schultz, taking a moment away from helping a customer select a new piece for her wardrobe.
"I'll be back - most definitely," the woman said after checking out.
Schultz, an Owatonna native and mother of three, moved to Fairmont five years ago. Her husband, Lance Schultz, owns the butcher shop in Ceylon.
She was charmed by the chain of lakes, and immediately noticed the potential of a little storefront on Downtown Plaza that was occupied at that time by Blush salon.
"I've always loved fashion and dreamed of having my own shop," she said.
Back in February, after signing a lease on her dream location, she began renovations. Gone are the mini blinds, fluorescent lighting, sinks and stalls. The new decor is soft and feminine, with a bit of an edge. Chandeliers hang from the ceiling, funky rugs splay out on the new hardwood flooring, and black-and-white vertical striped curtains frame the windows.
And then there are the clothes.
"This is nothing," said Schultz. "I'll have new items in almost daily, so there's always something fresh and new."
Navigating the fashion world has been a learning process, as the Owatonna native is finding out through experience which vendors she likes. Her goal is high-quality clothing at affordable prices, in a variety of sizes and suitable for a variety of ages.
Ivy Blu is named after Schultz' mother, Ivy, with "blu" inspired by the shop's denim selections. The boutique is open 10-5 p.m. weekdays, except Thursdays, when it's open til 7 p.m., and from 10-4 on Saturdays.