Family, Faith, and Community
The Farmer's Wife Boutique began in 2014. Samantha and her husband live on his family farm, located about an hour outside of Aberdeen, SD. Samantha just left her job as an occupational therapist to become a stay-at-home mother to her young daughter. At this time, she began looking for a creative outlet that would allow her to enjoy doing something for herself, as well as interact with others. She noticed a lot of boutiques popping up on Facebook. She had always loved fashion and the extra confidence it can bring out in people. With her husband on board, they took their savings, invested into some pieces of clothing, and started a Facebook page to see how selling the items would go. Within a week she had a web site (www.thefarmerswifeboutique.com). That fall Samantha and her husband began traveling to vendor fairs in throughout South Dakota and North Dakota. They did 33 vendor shows in three months. Some weekends they did three in a row with a show on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
After about six months of selling online and at vendor fairs, she got the opportunity to rent a small location in Groton, SD. Up until that point she had been storing all of her merchandise in the basement of their house and in a 16-foot trailer. She initially decided to rent the space just as storage, so they could have their house back. She transformed the front of the space into a storefront that was open two to three days a week. After a year her business came to another turning point. Most of her customers were coming from Aberdeen community, and so she knew she needed to either let the boutique go, or take the plunge and move it to Aberdeen.
Samantha says, “I think of all of our customers as much more than just a sale, they’re a part of our circle of family. I want to know them, and to also be honest and include them in what is going on in my life, too.” Samantha has been very open with her community with not only the hardships involved with being a business owner but her personal life. One warship including closing her children’s apparel store Lil’ Bean Boutique. Allowing her to focus more on what she wants for her business, versus trying to do what other businesses aren’t doing. This shift made her realize the importance of operating he business much like she her home and family farm. To operate-on the values of family, faith, and community. "We really want to be the small mom and pop type shop instead of expanding and trying to become huge and carry expensive clothing lines. Like in farming, community and relationships are so important, and we want to keep those values present in our boutique at all times.”
Walking into the Farmer’s Wife Boutique, it’s easy to see the values Samantha talks about present throughout her store. She carries women’s apparel in a variety of sizes-from small to 3x, as well as maternity tops, dresses, and bottoms, and children’s clothing, mainly in sizes newborn to six months. Customers can shop from home and have their purchases sent directly to them, or put aside for them to pick up at the store. Samantha’s children often come to work with her, and the boutique’s shelving and display units were hand-built by her husband. The Farmer's Wife Boutique also carries gift items, many of which are handmade here in South Dakota. “We work with other small businesses as much as we can. I’d rather support someone who makes their own t-shirt line, or hand pours their own candles, before investing in a huge company that is already in stores all over the country.
The Farmerís Wife Boutique, 104 Main Street South, is open Wednesdays from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM, Thursday and Friday from 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM, and Saturdays from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM.