A ‘Poppin’ place

MARSHALL – Shoppers in the Marshall area are invited to stop in at the Market Street Mall to check out the newest store – Poppin’ Tags – a unique boutique, which opened for business on Friday.

Located across from Maurices, Poppin’ Tags has a variety of items for sale, including trendy clothing, footwear and accessories. In reality, a customer could purchase an entire outfit there.

“A person could walk in and walk out a whole new person,” owner Debra Ness said. “We have all the things that go together with clothing, all the accessories, boots, shoes, and even some gift items like cell phone covers.”

Natural Life is one of Ness’ favorite companies to purchase stock from.

“Their message is positive and happy things,” Ness said. “Their stuff is awesome. One cell phone case says, ‘pray more, worry less.’ They have good products and people like them. And the price is good, too.”

The new boutique is a place where people can also buy scarves, vests, shirts, jeans, tank tops, purses, jewelry, belts, hair clips, bags and much more. Along with keeping prices down, Ness said she is focusing on keeping things unique and fun. Offering clothing in a wide-range of sizes is also important to her.

“There’s size 2 to size 3X,” she said. “I just think there’s a need for it. And everybody deserves to look nice no matter what size they are. I didn’t want to eliminate anyone. We want it to be a friendly, welcoming place that people want to go to.”

Ness worked hard to create an atmosphere that was inviting to the public. She even recruited the special interior decorating talents of Minneota resident Carol Herman to help do that.

“Carol specializes in coming into your home and using what you have to decorate so you don’t have to spend a lot of money,” Ness said. “I had it kind of close to done and then she came in here and added some good ideas. She was great. We really wanted it to be a place where everybody feels comfortable. If they just come in and don’t buy anything, that’s OK, too. People can just come in and say ‘hi.'”

Having been in the hair salon business for many years, Ness said she enjoys working with people. While starting up her own business is somewhat risky, she believes she has the experience and drive to make it successful. She also has a lot of support.

“I’ve been in the hair business forever,” Ness said. “I do hair, and it just all goes together, really. I like to shop and I’ve had friends who have asked me to go along with them and help pick thing out for them. It’s kind of the same thing. I just like working with people.”

After making the decision to open her own store, Ness continued to pursue the venture.

“I talked to the mall people and they’ve been awesome to work with,” she said. “They gave me a decent price for rent, so I thought I had to try it.”

Ness loves the location and noted that Poppin’ Tags had been very busy on opening day.

“It’s been going really well,” Ness said. “There’s a good variety of things selling. Many people have come in and said they were happy I was here. It makes you feel good. Word of mouth is the best advertising you can have.”

Likewise, the boutique’s name came from the song “Thrift Shop,” Ness said.

“I just wanted something catchy and fun that people would remember,” she said.

Since Ness plans to continue working at Escape Spa a couple days a week, she will be relying on a handful of employees, including Christy Lonien, to help run the shop. Store hours will coincide with the mall hours, which are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.

“I actually wanted to move my hair (business) out here, but City Looks has dibs on the whole mall,” Ness said. “Otherwise, I would have done that. I like being here, but I like doing hair, too. It’s tough to give that up. But I’ve got four or five employees already. They’re all friends and people I know.”

While Poppin’ Tags currently caters more to girls and women, Ness said she is keeping the possibility of expansion in the back of her mind.

“I’d like to expand and have men’s and maybe kid’s (clothing) someday,” she said. “If all goes well in the next year and I can move to a bigger location, I’ll do it.”