- Associated Press - Monday, January 30, 2017

CHATFIELD, Minn. (AP) - The fashion-forward can take their pick at the Bick n Berry.

Downtown Chatfield is home to a new clothing store co-owned by Brayonna Berry and Angie Bicknese, the Post-Bulletin (http://bit.ly/2k5B1gK ) reported. The two Chatfield women met a few years before, and an instant friendship formed between them.

Their shared love for shopping and fashion came together into one idea: to start a new business together.

“The idea really came to us on a whim,” Bicknese said. “We both love to shop and have always loved boutique shopping specifically, and knew that Chatfield would be such a wonderful community to open a boutique in.”

Berry and Bicknese, both nurses at Mayo Clinic, had never opened a business before.

“This is a whole new challenge for the both of us and change of mindset,” Berry said. “But as any nurse knows, sometimes you just have to roll with the punches when things don’t go as planned. Life is really about the adventure and seeing where life takes us.”

The two started looking at buildings. There were several that stood out, but they selected the historic storefront at 221 Main St. and purchased the site in June 2016.

“The personality of the store was quite simple, as we wanted to maintain the original look and feel as much as possible of the 1897 building,” Bicknese said. “The building itself is beautiful. We were going for a vintage, rustic feel.”

“It had character, a great history, and a location that was perfect as it is close to the only stoplight in the county,” Berry said.

Restoring the building took five months. The wood shakes were removed, and the front of the building was sandblasted. The original hardwood floors and exposed brick were restored.

“We knew we were going to be putting a lot of work to create the look we wanted,” Berry said. “We had done lots of brainstorming and research. And of course with the help of Pinterest, our husbands helped us to achieve the look and style we were hoping for in this building.”

Much of the project involved repurposing old material to create a cohesive and fresh look for furniture and decorations, including barn wood, wood pallets, and tin. Since both Berry and Bicknese have young children, they created an area in the store where they can be with them during business hours.

Sitting on their counter is a jar filled with all the screws removed from the floor, a reminder of the journey taken to get the business started.

“The restoration of the building proved to test our patience,” Bicknese said. “But we never walked away from a day of working on it without laughter and smiles.”

Bick n Berry - a play on the co-owners’ last names - carries women’s clothes and a wide range of accessories and bags.

“We want to provide the latest fashion trends in modern, contemporary, and comfortable clothing for the everyday woman in every shape and size,” Berry said. “With that in mind, we have created a business that we hope will provide women a wardrobe that will help them to stand out and leave a lasting impression.”

They also carry Ballerina Botanicals: a line of beauty products such as soap scrubs, lotion bars, and lip balms.

“We hope that Bick n Berry offers a cozy, unique environment for people to come and shop while unwinding a bit with friends or family,” Bicknese said. “We have really worked hard on listening to feedback about what to have in stock.”

When Bicknese and Berry opened Bick n Berry on Nov. 12, they weren’t sure what to expect.

The response was overwhelmingly positive on their first day. Customers filled the store, and lines were going out the door.

“We really did not know what to expect as we prepared for opening day,” Berry said. “We knew people said they were coming to shop, but I never would have believed the tremendous outpouring of support from everyone.”

“We love seeing pictures and posts from ladies that are wearing something they have bought from our store,” Berry said. “At the end of the day, that leaves us feeling that we are making a difference.”

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Information from: Post-Bulletin, http://www.postbulletin.com

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