Bes Folkman says she dreamed of owning her own business since she was 8 years old. Decades later, she wove her childhood aspiration into her favorite hobby and opened River Boutique and Yarn, a design house and knitting outfit, which today is poised to have its most successful year in its five-year operation.
"We're on pace to double our best year in sales, and our move to Galleria West in Brookfield is largely responsible for it," said Bes, who celebrated her store's first anniversary at the new location this month. "Relocation (from Hartland) has been the best thing to ever happen to us."
According to Folkman, her shop's centrally located site fits in with knitters' peripatetic nature.
"Knitters will travel if they have a comfortable, nurturing place to go to," said Folkman, whose store holds knitting classes for any skill level and also sells jewelry, art and porcelain. "That's what's so good about our location - it's easy to get to from all the state's major population areas. Knitters come in from not only the Milwaukee area, but also from Madison, Racine and the Fox Valley."
Folkman designed her store with a warm, inclusive feeling in mind, including a large circle of cozy chairs that promotes customer bonding. Unlike many shops in her line of business that maintain strict in-house knitting schedules, she said, patrons are welcome to knit at River Boutique during all business hours. This unique customer-service approach has attracted a loyal following.
"Knitting has been called 'yoga for the brain,' plus it's been proven to lower the heart rate and blood pressure, so it's a hobby that just doesn't lend itself to being confined by rigid rules," she said. "More so than even our high-quality stock of yarns, knitters come back to us because they appreciate the relaxed atmosphere we've created here."
For information, visit riverboutiqueyarn.com.
If you would like to suggest a business to be featured in the Business Spotlight, send an e-mail to email@example.com or call (262) 446-6643.
JUST THE FACTS
BUSINESS: River Boutique and Yarn
ADDRESS: 18900 W. Bluemound Road, Brookfield
PHONE: (262) 641-7427
OWNER: Bes Folkman
TYPE OF BUSINESS: design house/ yarn boutique
PEARLS OF WISDOM: "The River Boutique, where inspiration flows and the ideas are current"
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