MARSHALL - As a financial adviser, Patty Groff said she spends a lot of time helping other people make their dreams possible. Now, she said, it's time to try taking her own advice.
Groff is going into the retail business, opening the Noble Woman Boutique on Main Street in Marshall. The boutique, which will have its grand opening on Friday, will carry a range of formal and casual women's clothing and accessories.
"It all just came together," Groff said. Now that her children are older, she has more time to pursue something creative. "I wanted to do something fun, and add to the Marshall shopping experience," Groff said. Specifically, she wanted to be able to serve a wide range of customers, with some different styles and tastes.
Photo by Deb Gau
Patty Groff and her daughter Trisha Rykhus are gearing up for the grand opening of the Noble Woman Boutique in Marshall later this week.
"My goal is to make this a mother-daughter boutique," Groff said, with an appeal to both younger and more mature generations.
But, Groff said she couldn't create a mother-daughter atmosphere alone. Her daughter, Trisha Rykhus, is also part of the business. Rykhus said she helped look for inventory with a youthful style, but she thought she and her mother's points of view still ended up pretty balanced.
"I think there's a lot of both of us" in the boutique, Rykhus said. It took a lot of work to get the Noble Woman up and running, but Rykhus said it's been an exciting process. Her favorite part?
"I would probably have to say just shopping for the clothes at market," Rykhus said.
Groff said they're hoping to have a true boutique feel for the Noble Woman.
"The idea is to have a large selection, but low quantities" of each piece, she said. "That way, you don't run into someone in town wearing the same dress as you."
The boutique's name was inspired by a passage from the Biblical book of Proverbs, which describes the properties of a wife of noble character. The name speaks of an additional goal Groff has for the boutique. Groff said she hopes to give about 10 percent of the net proceeds from the boutique to benefit faith-based initiatives like mission trips.
Prep work for the boutique started in late December, Groff said. She and her family did a lot of work themselves. The shop space didn't require a lot of renovation, Groff said, but there was still plenty of work to be done sprucing it up - adding wallpaper and lighting fixtures, and creating and arranging displays for the finished boutique. Groff said her son is helping her market the boutique online with a Facebook page and Web site, www.noblewomanboutique.com.
The Noble Woman will be open Wednesdays through Saturdays, and in the meantime Groff will continue to work as a financial planner alongside her husband. Besides the regular hours of operation, she said the boutique will also be open to hosting private shopping or "girls' night out" events.
"It's been a learning experience," Groff said of opening the boutique, and especially of going to market to buy inventory. But she's eager to open the doors and get feedback from customers.
"Everyone's excited," Groff said of the grand opening.