Cindy Lane and her crew at Mainstream Boutique love to have fun. You can’t do that in frumpy duds.
That’s one of the reasons Mainstream Boutique won the Readers’ Choice poll to find the best women’s clothing boutique in West Des Moines Patch. The boutique, located at 114 Fifth St. in Historic Valley Junction, received 308 of the 508 votes cast in the poll.
Blue Willi’s, which sells a high-end Danish line of clothing and is located in West Glen Town Center, was second with 182 votes.
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“Our customers are the best,” Lane said. “They know they’ll get awesome customer service; they know they’re going to get helped.”
So awesome that even women who don’t like to shop – and many don’t, Lane pointed out – come back again and again.
Store employees – Pam Jess, Tracee Hughes, Char Robinson, Barb Forde, Janice Anderson and Jen Crawford – are eager to help
“If you don’t like to shop, say ‘I need help,’ and they’ll put you in a dressing room and bring you items,” Lane said.
“If you're looking for the latest in fashion and appreciate someone helping you find just the right outfit, Mainstream Boutique is the place for you,” said customer Claire Mathews. “Cindy and her team are wonderful to work with and really care about their customers.”
Lane, who has a degree in retail management and fashion merchandising from the University of Wisconsin, takes pride in he boutique’s inventory appeals to women of all ages. “A teenage girl can come in with her mom and grandma and everyone can find something,” she said.
Customer Lynn Schoen described the inventory as “original women’s clothing with amped up style.”
More and more, women are reluctant to sacrifice style as they mature. Customers sometimes ask, “Am I too old to wear these jeans?” Lane said. “But if they fit you and you look like that, why wouldn’t you?”
Lane said she does “a ton of stuff” to promote the business, from offering weekly fashion shows to different organizations and private parties, buying a vendor booth at the Downtown Des Moines Farmers’ Market and staying open during Valley Junction’s 53 events – about half of them Farmers Market/Music in the Junction events every Thursday night, May-September.
Lane said Mainstream Boutique is fortunate to be part of the Valley Junction merchants’ community.
“We would not want to be anywhere else in town,” she said. “It’s probably the best thing is the foot traffic. Twenty-two farmers markets and 23 other events throughout the year bring in oodles of people.”