Despite closing their doors on March 16, due to COVID-19, products may still be purchased at Mainstream Boutique in Waukee and Ankeny. Both stores are independently owned and operated by Michelle Scheid.
Facebook has always been a tool for selling at this business, since they don’t have an e-commerce platform. Scheid feels Facebook is even more prevalent now.
“We post pictures of our product and sell through live videos on Facebook,” Scheid said. “We take the customer through a styling experience, trying on product for them, taking additional pictures of the product and communicating through messaging about their needs.”
Currently, they are operating at close to 35 percent, Mainstream Boutique recently started offering private appointments. They will be offering appointments from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, or by special arrangement.
“Both locations sell clothing, shoes, jewelry and accessories,” Scheid said. “Together the two locations have approximately 20 employees.”
Mainstream Boutique of Waukee has been open for close to five years. They are located at 9500 University Ave, Suite 2105, West Des Moines, two doors down from Wasabi Chi in Waukee. The second location is in Ankeny, at The District at Prairie Trail. This location has been open for a little over two and a half years at 1450 SW Vintage Pkwy, Ankeny, two doors down from Fong’s Pizza.
When products are purchased, customers may ask for a PayPal invoice and for the items to be shipped. They may also pay and pick up at the store.
“When we initially closed for COVID, most customers wanted to be invoiced and shipped,” Scheid said. “We are now trending where people are able to do more curbside pick-up, or come into the store and pay, similar to carry-out at a restaurant.”
Their next step will be to offer an outdoor sales experience. Scheid will be having a meeting with her staff to check availability and comfort level before opening.
“We will be reviewing safety standards and establishing what works for our stores,” Scheid said.
A tentative opening date for both stores is set for June 2.
Cleaning and sanitizing will take place at Mainstream Boutique. They will be evaluating the following items:The placement of racks and seating on their sales floorThe placement and use of hand sanitizer around the storeHow they will handle clothing after it is tried onWhat the sales experience will look like while social distancing
“We have not decided on a standard for facemasks for our employees, except that we will have them available for employees if they want to wear them,” Scheid said. “As you can see, we still have planning to do before we open.”
Scheid feels that her customers are amazing and every comment of encouragement has taken them to the next level of believing in themselves.
“I have been doing many of the live sales on Facebook, and our customers have accepted me for who I am,” Scheid said. “There were days when I shared concerns with them, days where my energy was depleted, they have traveled the roller coaster ride with us.”
As of right now, the best way to purchase items is to call 515-987-9007 for the Waukee location, 515-289-2184 for the Ankeny location, or message them on Facebook.
Once they open, they will be using a sign in/sign out sheet for all customers, so they have a tracing mechanism in place.
“Both locations are here to serve you in various capacities,” Scheid said. “We will ease into our hours of operation. We do not know what that will look like right now, but we will keep the public updated as we go.”