ALTON—A new business with an old soul has moved into downtown Alton.
Jacy Andresen opened Old Soul Boutique on March 22 at 212 10th St. The boutique carries women’s clothing in sizes small to 3XL as well as a variety of unique and often handmade home decor.
Opening the storefront is fulfilling a longtime dream for Andresen, who originally wanted to be a fashion designer. Although she chose not to pursue that career because she felt her poor drawing skills were a barrier, she has able to celebrate her passion through curating the products she carries at the boutique.
“I always wanted to do this,” Andresen said. “You have to have an eye for different things. I love it when someone puts something on and is like, ‘Oh, I really, really like this.’”
Andresen considers herself an old soul, which led to the name. She hopes Old Soul Boutique will reflect that aspect of herself mainly through the types of clothes and decor available, which are casual, comfortable and homey.
“I picked Old Soul because I am an old soul,” she said. “I love old music, antiques — my house is full of antiques.”
Andresen plans to make sure shopping at Old Soul Boutique does not get old, even for frequent visitors. She rearranges the store every few days and plans to have new arrivals in once per week to keep things updated and fresh.
Affordability is another important aspect of the business
She expects to continue adjusting what she carries based on what people like or ask for. Just a few weeks into the business, she said she already has been surprised by where the demand has been. In her first week, graphic tees and dresses were popular items.
Although clothing is the centerpiece of the store, Andresen said she wants to keep bringing in other items that people can buy as gifts. She hopes to add jewelry and already has a variety of home decor items, something she added to make Old Soul Boutique stand out.
“I researched my home decor pretty hard because I wanted to make sure I had something different,” she said.
Andresen makes sure to source the totes, handmade signs, candles and food kits she sells from small Iowa businesses.
“I’m trying to support other small businesses like myself,” she said. “I love to support local people. This is how we survive, we support each other.”
Andresen, who lives in Alton with her husband and three children, moved five years ago from Galva. Owning her own business is another longtime dream she is excited cross off her bucket list.
She started seriously considering opening a boutique March 2020. At the time, she was working in sales and marketing at Diamond Vogel and realized she wanted a change of pace and more freedom to be her own boss.
“I decided it was time to finally do this,” Andresen said.
She and her family began renovating a storefront in downtown Alton in October. Old Soul Boutique opened in what used to be Four Speckled Hens & Their Chicks, which had carried antiques, decor and other household goods.
Andresen has no employees, although family members help her unbox and organize new items. Old Soul Boutique is open four days a week, although Andresen said she may add special openings or adjust when she opens on Monday based on interest from customers and her own schedule as a parent.
Hours are 12:30-7 p.m. Monday, 6-8 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday and 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday.
After so many months of planning and preparation, Andresen was so nervous at the ribbon cutting her husband told her she was shaking.
“I was so nervous because I’ve put everything into this and I’m like what if nobody shows up,” Andresen said.
But in just a few weeks of business, Andresen said she has been touched and overwhelmed by the support and interest community members have shown for her store.
“People are like, ‘Oh, we’re just ready for something like this, we’re ready for something different, you know, and we love it when small businesses come to towns because there just isn’t anything.’ It’s been amazing,” she said.