While 2020 has been a difficult year for business, one local woman decided to take the leap and open up shop in downtown Owatonna.
“Who in their right mind would ever think of opening a business during all this craziness,” said Jodi Jendrysik, owner of the newly opened Lilly and Rose Boutique on Oak Avenue. “Honestly, I’m scared to death, but I also think that this is about pushing forward.”
Though the boutique is new to Owatonna, Jendrysik successfully ran the store in Pelican Rapids, Minnesota, for two years. When her husband was relocated to Steele County to help open up Rise Modular in Owatonna’s industrial park, Jendrysik closed up shop.
“We moved down Halloween weekend, and I knew I wanted to wait until the first of the year before potentially looking for a spot to open back up,” Jendrysik said, adding that her flare for unique fashion and desire to bring trendy clothes to professional women over 40 is what originally ignited the birth of the boutique. “We found this space and just decided to step out into faith.”
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic picking up in Minnesota, Jendrysik signed a lease agreement to move into the former military recruitment space at 120 S Oak Ave. Jendrysik said that original intention was to take over the space in March, but the state shutdowns revolving around the pandemic put everything to a halt. Once the recruiters were able to move into their new space, however, Jendrysik said the only option in her mind was to continue on with the journey.
“We just kind of felt like we needed to keep pursuing it and moving forward and keep our fingers crossed and hope and pray that everything would bypass and we could open up,” Jendrysik said. “We spent most of the whole COVID lockdown time reconstructing, redoing and renovating the building.”
Jendrysik was able to officially open June 6 and said that she immediately felt that other women were feeling as she did during the stay-at-home order: claustrophobic and a little stir-crazy.
“Everyone that has come into the store has been so welcoming and friendly, it’s been a good reaction and vibe that way, but it also made me realize that people were feeling the same way as me about needing to get out and communicate with one another even amidst all the craziness,” Jendrysik said. “Really we all had two options: we could either sit here and be afraid and not do anything, or we could push through it and do everything we can to kind of figure out what the new normal is going to look like and learn how to live with it.”
After the first two weeks as an official downtown Owatonna business, Jendrysik said that she looks forward to the adventure in her new town that she’s already come to love. She said that being able to provide women with a safe place to not only shop, but socialize in, has reassured her that she made the right – albeit scary – decision.
“This isn’t just about clothes,” Jendrysik said. “It’s about talking with and being around other women, which is why I am glad we pushed forward and opened our doors.”