Finding their ‘market’
Boerner, Hindt share business space in downtown Gowrie
GOWRIE — Marcie Boerner’s love for the Gowrie community and Jacci Hindt’s passion to help others look and feel good about themselves has resulted in a business partnership.
Together they share a space for their respective businesses in downtown Gowrie.
The building, located at 1108 Market St., houses Boerner’s business, Liberty Market, and Hindt’s business, Addison James Boutique.
Liberty Market, which sells handcrafted items such as signs, candles, and jams, opened in May of 2018.
Then in October of 2018, Hindt moved her boutique, which sells a wide selection of women’s clothing, into the Liberty Market. It’s located in the back of the store, upstairs.
“We met and we just clicked,” Boerner said.
“We both dream big, so it was a good partnership,” Hindt said.
Boerner grew up in the Farnhamville and Gowrie area. She bought the building on Market Street about two years ago.
After about a year of renovations, she opened Liberty Market as an occasional store.
Boerner works as the office manager at Webster Calhoun Telephone Cooperative.
And Liberty Market could only be open when Boerner wasn’t working at her regular job, she said.
But when Hindt came on board a few months later, they decided to open up the doors on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, Boerner said.
“Sharing the space allows us to have more consistent hours,” Boerner said.
Hindt, a native of Rockwell City, has a photography studio in Fort Dodge called Jacci Addison Portrait Studio that she’s owned for the past decade.
She’s also an adjunct instructor in the areas of photography, business, and marketing, at Iowa Central Community College.
The idea for the Addison James Boutique was conceptualized when Hindt photographed portraits of high school seniors.
“I thought it would be cool to have seniors that could come in and borrow or buy our outfits to make them feel their best,” Hindt said. “And the idea just kept growing to where we are today.”
Dresses, jeans, hats, tops, and shoes, are some of the items sold at the boutique.
“From girls’ night out to a wedding,” Hindt said. “Custom t-shirts and we also have a fitness line.”
Helping someone find an article of clothing that gives them confidence is Hindt’s ultimate goal.
“When you see those women come out of the dressing room in something they didn’t think they could wear, and it looks great on them and they realize it looks great on them, it really lights a fire for your passion and knowing this why we do what we do,” Hindt said.
Hindt added, “For me, the most important thing I do is build a community for women to come together. It’s super important that people know they are worthy of being the best version of themselves and I feel like starts in the morning with your outfit, which is where we come in.”
Liberty Market focuses on handmade goods and signs that are made throughout Iowa.
A couple of those goods include J & J Candles from Manson and Clear Creek Orchard Jams made in Collins.
Signs are another popular item. Boerner said the signs are handcrafted in Clarion.
Hindt and Boerner both said customers will come in and buy an item from both businesses, such as a candle and a pair of shoes.
“There is definitely some crossover,” Hindt said.
“The market she pulls in and the market I pull in — they overlap,” Boerner said.
In addition to Boerner and Hindt, two other employees work at the store.
Hindt’s boutique has an online presence, but plenty of customers value the opportunity to try clothing on in-store.
“My selling point to Jacci was people want to come in and try that stuff on,” Boerner said. “Instead of shipping it they can stop in try it and and they might see some other things in the store. It’s having multiple ways of purchasing something or seeing things.”
Both try to mix up their inventory to keep things fresh.
“Our inventory changes so fast, we don’t really keep in any specific item for very long,” Hindt said. “It’s ever-changing.”
Hindt added, “We go to the market or purchase online from different vendors all over the country.”
Hindt said each item is hand-selected.
“We get like six to 12 of one item and when it’s sold out we don’t always reorder that,” she said. “That’s a great thing for our customers because there is always something new.”
One of the challenges in owning a business is staying positive during high and low traffic times.
“Riding that wave of busy season and trends and being able to ride out the low points,” Hindt said.
She enjoys being part of a community like Gowrie.
“We like to give back our community and it’s a small town community that seems to be my biggest passion,” Hindt said. “I love the small town atmosphere and being part of a small community to glue those pieces together.”
Boerner said she is driven by her desire to see Gowrie succeed.
“I did not see myself owning a retail store,” Boerner said. “My passion for this is driven from my literal sense of community and community of Gowrie in where I want to create something to draw people to our community.”
Hindt said one thing she has learned in starting her own businesses is not to give up.
“The one thing I tell my students is it’s OK for people to tell you no or not buy your product because someone else will,” she said. “It’s just finding your right market.”