An online women’s clothing boutique is opening a physical location in downtown Sioux Falls. Pasque Boutique is moving into The Steel District next summer, joining a handful of restaurants and retailers planned for the development.
Pasque Boutique owner Alicia Engelking grew up in Luverne, Minnesota, and now lives in Sioux Falls with her partner and his three kids, along with her own two. Engelking is a registered nurse but worked retail in high school and college. Because of that, she always wanted to own a store.
Engelking started the online boutique in fall 2019 and named it, at the time, Boutique 818. It was named after her daughter’s birthday. Her daughter, who died in 2010, was special needs, Engelking said. One thing they always loved doing together was shopping.
“She was kind of my motivation to just say, ‘OK, this has been a dream of mine forever. Let’s not take these things in vain. Let’s at least try to do the things you’ve always wanted to do,’” Engelking said.
While her business model centered around pop-up events and online shopping, Engelking’s goal was always to have a brick and mortar store, but the pandemic made her postpone those plans. Last summer, she started looking again. When she heard about an opening at the Steel District, she knew it would be a perfect fit.
“This is the kind of shopping I really love when I travel, is going to these fun, little downtown areas and shopping local,” she said.
New chapter, joining the downtown Sioux Falls community
Pasque Boutique will be situated in the retail/apartment wrap building that surround the new Steel District parking ramp. Other commercial tenants will include a bar restaurant and some other businesses that haven’t yet announced their name, Luke Jessen with Lloyd Companies said.
“A lot of them are still finalizing their plans, but there’s a lot of cool stuff that will be happening next spring,” he said.
The fact that Engelking will be joining the downtown business community is what led her to change the name of her store.
“I feel like the stores here are very proud to be in downtown Sioux Falls, and I feel like the city has done a very good job revitalizing this whole area to make it vibrant,” Engelking said. “And since this is a new chapter for me, I wanted something to reflect that while giving the store a South Dakota identity.”
Even though running the boutique is a dream, Engelking loves being a nurse and plans to keep her nursing license active once the store opens.
“Given my daughter’s disabilities, that is something that’s very near and dear to my heart. I don’t plan to let that go away.”
Engelking also plans to start hiring employees this fall to help with the holiday season and all the travel events she has planned. Her hope is that some will stay on to work part-time once the store opens next June.
She said she’ll likely take a short break when things get ready to open and then work as a nurse on an as-needed basis. Engelking wants to be in the store as much as possible because she loves talking to people, and working the floor was what made her fall in love with retail in the first place.
The Pasque shopping experience
The store will be 1,600 square feet and feature a “bright, fun, chic look,” Engelking said. The many windows will provide lots of light and make it open and inviting, which she loves.
There will be a small seating area where Engelking hopes to hold the occasional event, and the decor will be in white and pale purple.
The clothes will feature multiple price points, so some pieces will be more affordable while others will be considered investments.
At the moment, Pasque Boutique features a lot of casual stuff, but once the store opens, Engelking wants to focus on a collection of wear-to-work and work-to-evening items. She said she feels it fits the environment of downtown a little better.
“I’m very excited about it,” she said. “This is such a labor of love, something I thought about since I was 16 years old. Seeing it actually coming to fruition is like a dream come true, and I have a wonderful support system of family and friends who have helped me every step of the way.”
Pasque Boutique will open around June 2024. For now, shoppers can find it online.
This article originally appeared on Sioux Falls Argus Leader: Pasque Boutique set to open next summer in the Steel District
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