New Fort Dodge business is expanding
Tootles Boutique and More has big plans for the future
Tootles Boutique and More located just a few miles north of Fort Dodge on U.S. Highway 169 just opened in May and already plans to expand their business.
Terri Adams, the owner of Tootles, is thrilled for Tootles’ next chapter. In the coming months, Tootles will be more than just a women’s clothing boutique, it will also consist of repurposed items made my her and her husband, Russ Adams.
“That’s what we’re really excited to bring besides the clothing,” Adams said. “The clothing is a big part of it but I can’t wait to show people what we’ve got coming because its just amazing.”
Adams and her husband go around junk hunting often – something they love to do. They plan to make one-of-a-kind repurposed home-decor items to the store.
Everything inside their boutique is repurposed by them, giving people a good look at what’s to come. From the ceilings, to a horse trough with a a table top for clothing to sit on, a cash register counter with the front of a vintage truck on the front to a lighting fixture made with the hood of a vintage pickup.
“No offense to these big retail stores where you go in and you find a windmill clock or something, we are going to make the stuff out of the actual things,” Adams said. “It’s not going to be reproduction and the cheap wood. It’s all one-of-a-kind. No one else is going to have it. They might have something close to it, but it’s not going to be the same.”
Adding to their services, they will also be taking requests from anyone who wants something made.
“It will actually be made out of the real wood, the real barn wood, just stuff we find,” Adams said. “And we do that, we go around a lot, and we pick through barns. People let us come in and we’ll buy stuff from them. It’s stuff they think is just total junk. If anyone out there wants us to come, give us a call. We’ll come and take a look at what you’ve got. That’s our fun is getting dirty and finding junk. I don’t want this new stuff I want junk.”
Currently Tootles Boutique and More offers all kinds of women’s clothing from dresses to jeans to shirts. They come in sizes small to 3X and are for everyone young and old. The “And More” part of the name consists of sunglasses, shoes, soaps, lip glosses, candle waxes, mugs and bath bombs just to name a few. But in the future, Adams would also like to add men’s clothing.
“With our malls going the way they are, I wouldn’t mind bringing some men’s stuff,” Adams said. “There might be an addition.”
Currently, the boutique is in a small barn-like building, just built a couple of months ago. To fit all of their repurposed items and men’s clothing, Adams anticipates there might be an addition to the building.
“We’ll be looking to expand,” Adams said. “This will grow also. It’s gone really well, more than I expected – a lot more than I expected. I get a lot of travelers that travel on 169 and they’re just curious. They see the sign and they come in, which is awesome. Advertising is great, but word of mouth and just seeing something, is better.”
The boutique will be open all year. This will also allow for Adams to hold a craft and vendor fair.
“We are going to have a craft show out here with different vendors to where I want to spotlight a lot of talented people. It’s going to be actual crafts, it’s not the tupperware. It’s actual craft and art stuff. I can’t wait to show that. Next spring and fall, I’d like to do it once a month. Bring someone with vegetables, fruit, from their gardens and have them sell it.”
In her current boutique, Adams also offers a program called, ‘After-Hours Divas,’ which can be done on any night of the week. It’s free to set up a party and the host can bring up to six to eight guests. If the host’s guests spend at least $300, the host will get 30 percent off of her purchase.
“So you want people that are going to spend money,” Adams said. “We also serve you drinks and hors d’oeuvres.”
Adams and her husband Russ have two sons Brock, 26, of Fort Dodge and Drake, 21, of Fort Dodge. Brock is a personal trainer and crossfit trainer at Anytime Fitness in Fort Dodge and Drake works at Arbor Pro Tree Service.
To Adams family is very important. If fact, the store is named after her mother who was nicknamed, “Tootles.” She’s not sure why it was her mom’s nickname but it stuck. Adams said she has a strong admiration for her mom because she was such a hard worker. She also said that her mom always instilled in her that she could do anything and that was one of the things that contributed to Adams starting the boutique.
,,“She was such a tough woman,” Adams said. “She gave you that ‘if you want something bad enough, you can do it.’ You can have what you want if you try and work hard enough. You can do whatever you want, you just have to put your mind to it, where there’s a will, there’s a way.”
Also, the store’s phone number is the same phone number that Adams had at her house growing up in Fort Dodge.
“It was my parents’ telephone number for all the years I remember, 955-1497,” Adams said.
Adams feels that by having the name of the boutique after her mom and the number being from her family home growing up, that her parents are still with her.
“They’re no longer around but I feel by doing this, they’re proud of me.”