If having a baby during a pandemic wasn’t challenging enough, Ashley Nowacki added opening a storefront to the mix.
With her newborn son on her hip, Nowacki is gearing up to open her first brick-and-mortar store for Jade + Jasper at The Lights on Sheyenne 32 plaza in West Fargo.
Nowacki’s first storefront for the contemporary women’s clothing boutique, Jade + Jasper, will also be the first retail store in the development near 32nd Avenue and Sheyenne Street South.
Jade + Jasper, which will open its doors in August, offers women’s clothing, accessories, jewelry and some gift-type items.
“You can expect trendy, fun pieces,” Nowacki said. “I tried to balance styles you can wear in everyday life, so if you’re just going out to eat or on a date night, you could also wear that outfit to work. I try to buy pieces that are multifunctional. It’s a wardrobe you can use in many ways, basically.”
Nowacki is aiming for an early-August opening date, but she’s still finalizing some of the final touches for the boutique, which isn’t full of inventory yet, either.
August wasn’t the original date Nowacki had in mind for when she would officially open her storefront. The opening date has been a moving target for a while, due to a number of reasons, including the coronavirus pandemic and the birth of her son in April.
“Obviously these plans have been in the works for quite some time, but having a newborn and then coronavirus slowing things down a bit landed us where we’re at,” she said. “But I think it’s a good time. People are ready to get out again and interact with other people and try some new things. So it’s kind of a blessing in disguise, really.”
Nowacki is bringing a new meaning to the word “chaotic.” Though 2020 has been “very exciting” for the boutique owner, it was nerve-wracking having a baby during the pandemic, which was exacerbated by planning to open a storefront at the same time.
But, Nowacki is ready as ever to welcome customers into the store.
“I feel like I’ve pushed through these last couple months and I can only go up from here,” she said. “It just feels like good things are coming.”
Previously an online retailer, Jade + Jasper may be brand new in its physical location, but the store has been in business since September 2018, when Nowacki launched the shopjadeandjasper.com website. She’s been selling online through Facebook and at vendor events for almost two years.
Nowacki has been selling clothing longer than Jade + Jasper has been around, at first through a multi-level marketing company. Opening the brick-and-mortar location has been a longtime goal of the mother of two.
“It’s been kind of a long time coming. I finally just decided if I'm ever going to do this, I need to give it a shot or I’ll never know," Nowacki said.
Nowacki’s house is within a mile from where her storefront will be located at The Lights. The newly developed plaza wasn’t just another location for Nowacki, it was the location, she said.
“That location (The Lights) is just amazing. They’re doing great things with events,” she said. “The energy there is something I think everybody should experience. It’s creating something for our community that we've never really had.”
When Jade + Jasper opens in August, the boutique will have a hand-sanitizing station set up and extra masks on hand. Nowacki is also continuously following safety guidelines and staying up to date on mandates and guidelines from the CDC and local officials, she said.
A grand-opening event isn’t on the books at the moment, but if there is one, Nowacki is thinking it’ll be slated for September.