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Van Gorp finds perfect fit in life, business with Ooh la la Boutique

Published: Monday, June 16, 2014 11:09 a.m. CDT • Updated: Monday, June 16, 2014 6:45 p.m. CDT
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(Zach Johnson/Daily News)
Ooh la la Boutique owner Tonya Van Gorp shops for products for the boutique at a market in Minneapolis, Minn.

Since February, Ooh la la Boutique owner Tonya Van Gorp has found owning her own boutique has been a perfect fit for her life.

“My mom’s side of the family lives in Omaha and they’re big shoppers.” Tonya said. “Whenever I am around they love to take me out and go shopping at little boutiques.”

Those shopping trips gave Tonya the dream of one day wanting to open her own boutique.

“My aunts have always wanted me to open up my own boutique, because she always said, ‘I would be so good at it,’” Tonya said. “I loved the idea, but knew it probably wasn’t going to happen.”

On one shopping trip, Tonya and her aunts found a little fashion boutique called “Ooh la la,” Tonya felt a connection with this boutique.

“I told them if I ever do open a boutique I would call it ‘Ooh La La Fashion Boutique.’”

About five years later, Tonya would find herself on a journey that would eventually lead up to the opening of the boutique.

“I have been looking for a job for a while, which isn’t easy,” Tonya said. “I went to DMACC to make my resume look a little better to try to find an office job I am kind of glad it didn’t work out because its certainly not me and this is just me— perfectly.”

In February, Tonya found herself surrounded by her family and friends and opened up Ooh la la Boutique inside Aleya Salon and Spa.

“My family loved finding out that I was going to open a boutique,” Tonya said. “They still keep asking about when am I going to have my grand open house, so they can come back to shop some more.”

Having been born and raised in Newton, Tonya has found opening up a business in her hometown has given her a unique sense of community.

“You really get that sense of community as certain customers come in and instantly have a connection with them and they feel like family to me,” Tonya said. “We just bond like that and it seems everyone gets to know who you are. It’s nice to be known in your town.”

Having her boutique inside Aleya has been a perfect fit for Tonya as many of her repeat customers are Aleya customers.

“I love being in Aleya and I love everyone there,” Tonya said. “I love it all from the accessories to the hats and handbags. Also owning my own business and being able to come in and being able to do something that I enjoy is great as well. I have had so many people come in and express how happy they were that I opened the boutique and that it’s perfect for me because they know me as a person.”

The boutique sells fashion accessories, jewelry, “blingy” hats and handbags along with an assortment of unique accessories that can make for a great gift for someone or yourself. One of the distinct goals for Tonya is having women’s apparel at the boutique.

“I have been to one market so far, but didn’t have much luck with women’s apparel,” Tonya said. “I would like to get a denim line, which I am kind of working on right now through working with different apparel markets.”

Tonya’s goal with the women’s apparel is making sure it’s a perfect fit for the boutique year round throughout the seasons.

“I want it to be unique,” Tonya said. “I’m making sure the apparel looks like it came from a boutique rather than something you can just buy at Target or WalMart. Something trendy and something that many people haven’t seen before or too much of. If it’s at market it will be a big hit usually, but remaining very unique is what I would want to carry for apparel.”

The last goal Tonya has before the end of her first year of owning the botique is having an online store.

Ohh la la Boutique is located in the front store suite and suite nine in Aleya Salon and Spa. The phone number of the boutique is (641) 521-3080.

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