Family Business: Mindy Hovey transfers ownership of Unique Boutique to sister, Kelli
Thu, 09/21/2023 - 9:08am admin
Sara Stromseth-Troy TPD Staff
CRESCO - For the past 11 years, customers at Unique Boutique, located at 128 1st Avenue East in Cresco, have enjoyed shopping for unique and quality secondhand and consignment clothes and household items while visiting with store owner Mindy Hovey.
As summer transitions to the season of fall, a change is also taking place at Unique Boutique: Mindy Hovey is transferring ownership of the store to her sister, Kelli Hovey.
"I've sold my business to my sister, Kelli, and she will be taking over on October 1," Mindy said. "I will eventually move to Garnavillo (Iowa), where my husband lives. He's an organic farmer and fertilizer salesman, so I will be a farmhand."
Acknowledging her future work is quite different from her current job, she said she will also repurpose furniture while spending quality time with her daughter.
"I look forward to spending time with my daughter, Mati, in this last year-and-a-half of school; she's a junior," Mindy said.
Mindy has told customers about the change and has heard a variety of responses.
"People have said, 'We're going to miss you', or 'You can't leave'. Those people are trying to make me cry," Mindy said with a laugh. They say, 'Congratulations' and 'Glad the business is staying open; Cresco needs this,'" she adds.
As for Kelli, she was ready to try something new.
Kelli lives in Ridgeway and she and her husband Shawn have three children. A certified veterinary technician, Kelli has taught at the vet tech program at Northeast Iowa Community College for the past 11 years and had worked in clinics previous to that.
"I was ready for a change. Mindy was making changes in her life, and one day she came up to me and said, 'Would you be interested in the business?'. I hadn't thought of it because it is a big change for me, too. I had worked (at the store) very sporadically for her. I realized, I think I can do this," Kelli said.
Kelli said customers can expect more of the same at Unique Boutique.
"I plan to keep things the same; the only difference people can expect is a new face behind the counter," Kelli said. "We'll still do purchasing and consignment; and keep things the way Mindy is doing it because everything is running smoothly. There is no reason to make any major changes at this point."
If Kelli needs business advice, she knows where to turn.
"Mindy will just be a phone call away, and it's easy to call your sister and ask questions. I can bother her because I bother her all of the time as her little sister,' Kelli laughs.
"I think it will be a good transition. The first couple of days I was here working, I was really excited to hear customers say, 'I love shopping here'. It is very encouraging to hear so much positive feedback. It's nice that we are keeping the business in the family and keeping the business alive," Kelli said.
As Mindy prepares to make her big life change, she shares her thoughts with the Cresco community.
"I would like to thank everyone for their support over the past 11 years; it's been fun. I am going to miss everyone, but change is always good. I appreciate everything people have done to keep me in business. Thank you."