Copper Rose Apparel opens in downtown Rock Valley | New
ROCK VALLEY—Copper Rose Apparel, Rock Valley’s downtown clothing and gift shop, is the result of a late-night text.
Britney Westra was working as a social media manager for an online store, and suddenly it occurred to her – instead of managing social media for someone else, she could open her own store and work for herself- same.
“I was like, ‘I love this shop and all these cute clothes – why wouldn’t I do this just for me?’ Westra said.
She decided to run it through her mother and her eventual business partner, Joane Rozeboom.
“I texted my mom at 11 p.m.,” Westra, 30, said.
“It was absolutely crazy,” said Rozeboom, 54.
It was crazy, but Rozeboom was in on it. The mother-daughter duo started by creating an online clothing store, then opened a physical store in Westview Plaza, the mall adjacent to Highway 18 in Rock Valley.
It wasn’t the first crazy idea the two pursued together. Prior to launching Copper Rose Apparel, Westra and her parents began selling Westra-built furniture — and auctioned possessions by her father, Jay — in the Rozebooms’ old barn.
“I had been doing craft shows and was looking for something a little more permanent,” Westra said. “So we worked together to clean up the barn in their yard and opened it up for monthly shopping. We had our first pop-up shop in the barn, but quickly decided it wasn’t a place for new ones. clothes.
A display case
Once Rozeboom and Westra secured a permanent location in the mall, they renovated the space and opened the first Copper Rose Apparel in August 2021. The store’s name is a nod to the family’s surname – the “rose” means “Rozeboom.” “Copper” was chosen because the two thought it went well with “pink”.
Westra and Rozeboom spent their first year in a physical store building inventory of apparel and other specialty gift items while continuing to sell goods online. They had no intention of moving, but when a space opened up on Main Street in downtown Rock Valley, Westra and Rozeboom decided they better check it out.
“People come to Rock Valley just to check out all the little shops,” Rozeboom said.
Rather than empty storefronts, which are a familiar sight in the downtown areas of many rural communities, downtown Rock Valley is a thriving shopping center that draws shoppers from across the region, including every state.
Rozeboom said she remembered seeing a sign in the Empire Mall in Sioux Falls, SD, advertising a bus trip to Rock Valley for a day of shopping.
“There are people lining up to get on a bus to go from Sioux Falls to Rock Valley,” Rozeboom said.
The two business owners were interested in the downtown location, which had been vacant for a few years. However, when they visited the space, which was more recently a Chinese restaurant, they had doubts.
“We went with our husbands to watch it,” Rozeboom said. “We walked in, looked at it, and the four of us were like, ‘Uh, no way. “”
The space was still cluttered with kitchen equipment and needed a thorough cleaning, as well as major renovations. They didn’t jump on it, but they came back several times.
“The third time, we finally said to ourselves, ‘Okay. We’ll take the plunge,'” Rozeboom said. “We bought the building at the end of April and we started the renovation process in May.”
“We completely gutted everything and did most of the work with our husbands and on our own,” she added.
It was a whirlwind process that culminated in mid-September with a groundbreaking and ribbon-cutting ceremony at the store’s new location.
The new store is organized to display a wide range of clothing, with smaller areas dedicated to a selection of fashion accessories, several spiritual devotions and a variety of specialty products produced by local and regional vendors.
“We’re just starting to offer wine in this new location and we’re trying to find unique wines at small town wineries,” Rozeboom said, listing wines from Round Lake Vineyards and Winery in Minnesota among those from the region.
“It’s something you can’t go to the grocery store and get,” Westra said.
In addition to wine, there are goods from various local vendors, including handmade candles, honey, a variety of potted salsas, and a “Cream of Anything” soup base, which Westra describes as “a version healthier cream soup”.
The clothes on sale, which can be bought in-store as well as online, are meant to appeal to women of various age groups.
“We have teenagers coming through to people in their 90s,” Rozeboom said. “We cover quite a wide range.”
The clothes appeal to a diverse clientele, but in general reflect the personal style and fashion sensibilities of its two owners.
“Britney’s style is more classic and comfortable because she has three small children,” Rozeboom said. “For me, if it’s different, I have to try it. My style is a bit more avant-garde, and we kind of merged our two styles.
Westra describes her tastes as “Midwestern mom fashion” and she seeks clothes she can move and play in, striking a balance of comfort, modesty and style.
“Our motto is, ‘If we don’t wear it, we won’t buy it,'” Rozeboom said.
While Rozeboom and Westra are united in their vision for the company, they play different roles.
“I love being behind the scenes,” Westra said.
She does all the “back-end” work, like ordering merchandise for the store, managing online sales, and overseeing marketing and social media for the company.
Rozeboom takes care of much of the “front” of the store – she works behind the cash register and floats around the store, greeting customers and helping them find what they’re looking for.
“She’s much better with people and relationships,” Westra said. “The store wouldn’t be where it is without her there.”
“And without you behind the scenes,” Rozeboom said. “We couldn’t do it without each other, but neither of us would want to do the other person’s side.”
Now that they’ve joined the downtown retail community, they’re excited to see what the future holds.
“It’s been a crazy year in six months – from an online store to this crazy, beautiful store,” Westra said.
“We absolutely couldn’t have done it without our families and friends, and locals supporting us, stopping to wish us luck,” Rozeboom said. “It’s very overwhelming.”
“A crushing good,” Westra said.