As of this past April, local shoppers now have a local option for the latest in women’s fashion, courtesy of Ana Blair’s Boutique located at 2801 E. Main Street.
As owner Vanessa Lazarz explains, owning a boutique has been a passion since she was a teenager, and the story of Ana Blair’s has unfolded rather quickly.
“I am a Registered Nurse by trade as I really enjoy taking care of and helping people, but fashion…fashion is my passion!” she explains with a broad smile. “Ever since I was 16, I’ve loved everything about fashion and boutiques,”
Lazarz took her first step into the world of Boutique management when she opened Ana Blair’s last fall, operating out of her home.
“I started off last September with a very small scale operation relying primarily on word of mouth and social media,” she adds. “I immediately developed a following and enjoyed fairly immediate growth.”
Due to the sudden and rapid growth, Ana Blair quickly outgrew the confines of Lazarz’s residence, leading her to seeking out a storefront.
“I would drive by the Utopia Salon quite a bit and remember thinking ‘if that little building beside the Utopia was ever to become available, I would rent it in a minute’. Then this past February, on my wedding anniversary of all days, I happened to notice the building was available!”
Two months later, on April 18; Lazarz’s dream had come true as Ana Blair’s Boutique was up and open for business, in its very own 500 square-foot store front.
“It’s been awesome!” Lazarz says of her success and experience thus far, since embarking on a rather unique endeavor in a relatively small, rural area.
“Due to the retail industry being so volatile right now I’ve been asked so often; why I would try and open a boutique store front in a town the size of Merrill, during such a turbulent time in the industry? My answer is how amazing the community has been since I opened!” she adds with a grin.
“Everyone who has come through the door has been very supportive and welcoming. My customers appreciate having a local option. I have been told many times how nice it is to be able to shop here in town and not to have to run to Wausau or elsewhere. I’m very happy here.”
As an example of Ana Blair’s early success, the boutique was recently nominated for The Boutique Hub’s-Boutique Awards in the categories of ‘Overall Favorite’ and the ‘Wisconsin’s Best Store Front’ last month. Then last Saturday Lazarz was informed Ana Blair had advanced as a top-5 finalist in the state, in both categories. The public is invited to vote for their favorite boutiques at http://theboutiqueawards.com/wi.
Ana Blair’s Boutique offers an assortment of women’s apparel sizes 0-4x, and accessories ranging from young contemporary to boho chic. A few examples of top names in the industry available at Ana Blair’s include Mitto Shop, Koru and Entro. In addition, the boutique offers a variety of women’s shoes sizes 5.5-10.
Lazarz and her sales team would like to welcome visitors to stop in any time during regular business hours of Tuesday/Wednesday 10 AM-8 PM, Thursday/Friday 10 AM-6 PM and Saturday 10 AM-5 PM. Ana Blair’s Boutique can be reached via telephone at (715) 493-6033.