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Doors open to another clothing store in DL

Emma Jeans Boutique on Washington Avenue has a lot of different one of a kind clothing for women, children, babies, and men. Mattie Hjelseth/Tribune1 / 2
Shawna Rose, owner of Emma Jeans Boutique, wears her fashion attire to promote her store. Mattie Hjelseth/Tribune.2 / 2

The old Sound Shop has now been remodeled and transformed into Emma Jean's Boutique, which opened it's doors to the public Oct. 1, selling clothing to the "mature woman," as the boutique owner, Shawna Rose, puts it.

"I would say--at both stores (Rose owns a second boutique in Ottertail)--we mostly cater to the mature woman," Rose said. "We have women's, missy, junior, baby and little girls (sizes)."

So it's not just the mature woman she's trying to appeal to. She's even got a small section designated for selling men's clothing.

"The guys' clothes were brought in by a friend of mine--I would say we're co-workers," Rose said.

Anthony Mastin, a retired army veteran who keeps busy working at Team Industries in Audubon as well as teaching conceal and carry classes and helping out at Tri-State Diving in Detroit Lakes, has added his own touch to Emma Jean's Boutique with a men's clothing line. But he's done more than just put clothes on a rack.

"If it wasn't for him, the store wouldn't exist," Rose said.

Rose remembers there was carpet on the walls before the remodel.

Mastin helped Rose completely gut and remodel the building installing flooring, painting and building changing rooms, among other changes.

Originally, Rose says, it was her goal to open the store in Detroit Lakes for her daughter, Emma Jean, who the store is named after.

"After working in the boutique in Ottertail (which Rose has owned for the last four years) she (Emma) dreamed of opening her own boutique as well," Rose said.

Emma had been pursuing a nursing degree off and on at Mankato State, torn between the boutique business and nursing.

Rose and her daughter then went forward with opening the boutique in Detroit Lakes, but Emma still felt the pull towards nursing.

"I said, 'Emma, I'll never stop you from following your dreams. The store will always be here'," Rose remembers, and she continued with opening the store even though her daughter chose nursing.

Rose said the store was also a chance for her to make her boutique business "a little more full time."

And Emma still helps out when she is back from school; so does Emma's younger sister, Madison.

"I take them to Las Vegas with me, and we spend four days at the apparel show. We hand pick everything," Rose said, adding, "When we leave there, we don't want to see another store for a long time," with a laugh.

They go to Vegas in August, purchasing apparel for the winter and spring seasons, and in February they look for summer and fall clothing lines.

Rose sports all the clothes she sells and so do her other employees, Linda Dunker, Deb Foster and McKenzie Mastin.

Rose says the women are fashion forward and "helpful when choosing the perfect outfit for your special occasion."

Although Rose has a wide selection of apparel in her store currently, she would like to get into selling more the gift items.

She currently has a line of "gifty" pillowcases, which she says are pretty popular, the most bought pillowcase has the phrase "I sleep with dogs" printed on it.

"I would like to do food and coffee," Rose said, explaining that she's not thinking coffee house, so much as she's thinking about having samples and selling the beans to customers.

"When people walk out of here, I want everyone to have a bag in their hands," she said.

She says she's also looking forward to working with other apparel businesses in town and "to be able to work in teams," possibly putting on fashion shows.

"Detroit Lakes has been very receptive, and I'm so excited for summer," Rose said.

Emma Jean's Boutique will also be having a grand opening in the spring of 2017, since the store "opened up at a really inopportune time" right after the tourist season ended.

"Hopefully by summer, people will know that we're here," Rose said. "We're just happy to be here in a larger city."