Katy Lynn Boutique keeps expanding

FD business has a new, larger home on Corridor of Commerce

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen
Sales associate Tatum Friesth poses at the checkout counter in the new Katy Lynn Boutique location. They are now located at 2415 Fifth Ave. S. in Fort Dodge.

Katy Lynn Boutique is booming.

Krista Albright launched a Fort Dodge location for the enterprise on Central Avenue in October 2014. The business has grown so fast that she has moved twice, most recently to 2415 Fifth Ave. S. — the city’s thriving Corridor of Commerce.

Additionally, Katy Lynn Boutique has a second store in Arnolds Park and a rapidly expanding online clientele.

The Okoboji store is also thriving and its busiest time of year is just ahead.

“Summers are crazy,” Albright said. “Once the weather warms up it will get really busy there. From Memorial Day to Labor Day, we are open seven days a week there.”

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen
Sales associate Tatum shows off the large comfortable fitting area in the new Katy Lynn Boutique location. They are now located at 2415 Fifth Ave. S. in Fort Dodge.

The newest Fort Dodge venue, which welcomed its first customers in early March, is about 1,000 square feet larger than the store’s previous home on the corner of Central Avenue and 12th Street.

“I liked downtown,” Albright said, reflecting on her decision to relocate the store. “I needed something bigger. This is bigger. I have a lot more room to spread things out and display things. I can put out a lot more merchandise, which is nice. I have a whole accessory wall at this store. I’ve got my own parking lot.”

The dressing-rooms area is also an enhancement.

“I still have three dressing rooms,” Albright said. “They are a little bigger and have closed doors now for a little more privacy. I have a bigger dressing-room space overall.”

Patrons accompanied by children will find the store a comfortable place to shop.

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen
Sales associate Tatum Friesth looks over some of the jewelry selections in the new Katy Lynn Boutique location. They are now located at 2415 Fifth Ave. S. in Fort Dodge.

“The space is kid-friendly,” Albright said. “I’ve got a TV that kids can watch.”

The décor is substantially changed from the downtown store.

“Everything is different,” Albright said. “The last store had a rustic look. This store is more modern and contemporary. Kim Rolfes was my decorator.”

What remains constant, however, is the commitment at Katy Lynn Boutique to offer unique, fashionable women’s clothing and accessories.

“Things are unique and the inventory is constantly changing,” Albright said. “You don’t have to worry about everyone having that same piece. If you haven’t been here, stop by and check it out. Since we have a bigger space, we’ve been able to expand our inventory. It’s always changing. You’ll be able to find something unique.”

The frequent influx of new merchandise is an aspect of Katy Lynn Boutique that Albright said sets it apart from some competitors.

“Things go fast,” Albright said. “I’m constantly ordering to keep things fresh. People might come in one week and then come in next the following week. If they do, they’ll see a bunch of new items. There’s always something new and fresh.”

Stocking merchandise that is in harmony with patron’s budgets is also a priority.

“I try to keep things as affordable as I can,” Albright said. “I like to have a lot of clothes so I’m always wearing something different. I think other people are like that, too. I price things so they don’t have to spend all their money on one item.”

Katy Lynn Boutique in Fort Dodge will celebrate its new home with a ribbon cutting and open house on May 4.

A little history

Krista Betten Albright grew up on a farm and graduated from Rockwell City-Lytton High School in 2006. Then it was on to Iowa State University, where she studied marketing and received a Bachelor of Science degree in 2009. Albright subsequently completed a master’s degree in education at Drake University. She taught middle school language arts for three years in Pocahontas before deciding to open Katy Lynn Boutique. Albright and her husband, Nick Albright, live in Lytton. He farms nearby and raises cattle. They are the parents of two preschoolers – Elin, 3 1/2, and Canon, 2.

The store is named after Albright’s sister – Katy Betten Smith – who began selling infinity scarves she made through a Facebook page. Albright expanded the marketing to include clothes and initially operated the business out of her home through Facebook. The success of that marketing venture led to the decision to open a store in Fort Dodge.

Katy Smith has now joined her sister in helping make Katy Lynn Boutique thrive. She manages the Okoboji store and co-owns it with Albright. Albright owns the Fort Dodge store.

Katy Lynn Boutique has a substantial online presence.

“It keeps growing,” Albright said. “We ship all over. We have a website – www.katylynnboutique.com – and a Facebook page. My mom – Dianne Betten – has also been helping a lot behind the scenes with all of our online clothes. She’ll help one or two days a week.”

Albright said possibly as much as 30 percent of Katy Lynn Boutique’s sales are due to the store’s website and its Facebook page.

“It’s hard to gauge because people see something on our website or Facebook page and then come in the store,” she said.

According to Albright, the new store is helping support the expanding online sales.

“I’ve got a nice big back room,” she said. “With the bigger back room, we can treat that like a warehouse.”

Enjoyable career, family project

Being an entrepreneur has proved a good fit for her, Albright said.

“I just like how every day is different,” she said. “I like meeting people. I like the buying part of it. We go to trade shows four to six times a year. We usually go to Los Angeles or Las Vegas.”

Albright also is enthused about her sister’s involvement in the business.

“That’s another thing I love,” she said. “We talk all day and message each other back and forth. We go to market together. We meet up once a week. It’s been great being able to work with her. We each have our own roles that we do daily, which is what makes our business work. We work as a team and each focus on different areas of expertise. We get a lot done this way. And my mom helps out quite a bit so then it’s the three of us. We just have a good time.”

Even Albright’s kids, who she sometimes brings to the store so they can play there while she works, like spending time at Katy Lynn Boutique.

“My daughter Elin loves to come,” Albright said. “She begs to come.”

Katy Lynn Boutique in Fort Dodge is open Tuesday and Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., on Thursday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., on Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. It is closed Sunday and Monday.

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