White Orchid opens downtown

FAIRMONT – White Orchid quietly opened Saturday with little fanfare, but already on Monday, owner Brooke White was sold out of select items.

The women’s fashion boutique is one of two that recently opened in downtown Fairmont. After years of limited retail options, local consumers have responded enthusiastically.

“I knew there was an untapped market here,” White said.

The establishment is located at 208 Downtown Plaza. Its merchandise and the atmosphere itself is unmistakably feminine, from the colors to the materials.

The target age for White Orchid is 30-plus, but that’s not necessarily a starting point.

“If you came here with your mom, your grandma, your daughter, you could all find something,” White said.

She has been busy planning the venture since November with her fiance, Fairmont resident Troy Stenzel. The couple’s wedding date is set for August, after which White will make the move from Mankato to Fairmont.

“Planning a wedding, starting a store, moving … it’s been pretty hectic, but so far it’s been worth every bit of it,” she said.

White Orchid is her way of sinking her roots into Fairmont and making it her new home.

“It’s about time!” said one excited shopper as she paid for a shopping bag full of clothes.

“When you get a new boutique in town, you must support it,” she said.

White Orchid came to fruition through a trip White took to Las Vegas with her mom to see the Magic Market Week, the largest U.S. retail trade show in the fashion industry. While there, she lucked out, literally.

“I won an obscene amount of money,” she said, laughing.

It seemed like fate. The money was invested in the boutique, which offers shoppers brands like Frank Lyman, Nic+Zoe, Papillon, Angie, Avatar, Milan, Rain, and more. All are U.S. or Canadian companies.

“Every woman who likes to shop for clothes likes to wear Canadian designers,” White said. “Their clothes are durable and wear well right out of a suitcase.”

The prices reflect the high quality, particularly for the Canadian designers, with a top selling for $140, but there are more affordable options on other brands.

The store hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday; and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday and Saturday

A grand opening is slated for Aug. 1.