OTTAWA — It’s been a bit of a whirlwind since Jennifer and Jeremiah Bentley, of Richmond, opened their new business, Farmhouse Boutique, in downtown Ottawa.
The shop opened at 216 S. Main St. on Oct 4 — the same day as Ladies Night Out. The morning started with a ribbon-cutting at 8 a.m. Two hours later, the boutique was open for business. But once the annual women’s shopping event in downtown Ottawa got underway, Jennifer said she couldn’t believe the response.
“We had 150 within the first 45 minutes,” she said.
While the biggest rush of customers came between 4:15 p.m. and 4:45 p.m., Jennifer and her staff stayed busy all evening — so much so they had to rush out twice to restock their supply of food and drinks.
“I thought ‘Oh, my gosh. Is it going to be like this all night?’” Bentley said. “But it was a really good way to get our name out there, and it was a pretty good turnout.”
“We were told that mostly customers would come in, look for the scavenger (item), get something to eat and drink and leave,” she said. “But we had people shopping, and trying on clothes."
The business was started online in December 2017, but as it grew, the Bentleys purchased a barn in Richmond and opened there in July 2018. Eventually, they found their current space in downtown Ottawa.
“We had been looking for a space, and then we found this one,” Jennifer said. “And I thought, ‘Here we go.’”
Jennifer is no stranger to fashion. Her mother, Julie Tracy, who owns her own commercial furniture upholstery business and coordinates volunteers for KC Fashion Week, designed her own clothing in high school and helped her parents with their small western store.
Jennifer said she’s always loved boots and shoes, and with her fashion background, decided to open Farmhouse Boutique. And with her business know-how, she soon found the market for western apparel was so good, her business took off by itself.
“Starting out, I picked a lot of the stuff I like,” she said. “But as a buyer, you see what other people like, and you start to offer that, too.”
Farmhouse Boutique carries brands like Ariat and Corral, and has an entire room devoted to boots — both traditional and blingy with lots of stitching. There’s also graphic Ts — some she produces in-house — as well as other apparel like Crazy Train.
The western boutique offers one-of-a-kind items as well as gifts for the home. While the shop has some kids’ and men’s clothing in-store, Jennifer said she plans on expanding the selection. One line she’ll be increasing soon is the shop’s men’s workwear line, which will feature a bigger selection of Ariat Rebar items, including jeans, shirts and boots.
Business hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Saturday and noon-5 p.m. Sunday. Farmhouse Boutique can be found at http://www.farmhouseboutique.com and on Facebook.