RED WING, Minn. -- It was almost like destiny for Barbara Bach to open a shop in Red Wing.
After all, her grandfather August J. Becker used to run a grocery and bakery in town. His name can be found inscribed on the sidewalk and on a plaque inside the current Elks building.
In October, Bach opened Upscale Boutique on the corner of Highway 61 and Plum Street, not far from her grandfather’s business. Inside is a treasure trove of clothing, handbags, and jewelry that your neighbor is likely not going to have.
Bach said she's always had a good eye for the finer things, previously working in cosmetics and diamonds. Just 10 years ago, Bach had a sweets shop in Chaska, selling fudge, malts, shakes and ice cream.
Bach didn’t grow up in Minnesota though. She grew up in Southern California, but moved around for work to Washington, Massachusetts, Wisconsin and eventually Minnesota.
Bach said she came to Red Wing on a whim. And after seeing the pair of storefronts she now rents from John Nahorniak — someone Bach says has been tremendously supportive — she couldn’t resist.
Bach hopes to use both storefronts for selling a variety of items. Trying different things is something Bach has always done. Even in her sweets shop, she’d trying selling a number of things. Some worked, some didn’t.
Bach said she’ll take that approach in Red Wing, offering different items to see what people enjoy most. Gloves, belts, handbags, she’s going to try it.
So how do you get people to come shopping at a store now-a-days when people love buying items from the comfort of their home? Bach says there’s still interest in getting a store experience.
“You can’t feel the fabric,” Bach said about online shopping. “You can’t try it on. So maybe it looks good in the picture or even on the hangar, but unless it’s on your body, you’ll say, ‘Oh, that’s not what I thought it would look like.’”
Thus far, Bach has gotten many compliments on her clothing items. She’s begun pivoting to the holiday season.
Bach’s always been a person to try something new. Bach said unless you have a passion for the line of work—or anything for that matter — you won’t go far.
“If your hearts not in it, don’t go there,” Bach said. “It has to be a passion, something you truly enjoy.”