Shelly’s Boutique, which is attached to Bill’s Toggery, will close after an inventory clearance sale this month, according to Billy Wermerskirchen, the toggery’s third-generation owner.
The decision to close Shelly’s Boutique is not a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Wermerskirchen and Shelly Brinkhaus said, calling the decision difficult but necessary. They said the pandemic offered an opportunity to look at all their options.
Brinkhaus, who has been the tailor at Bill’s Toggery for 10 years, purchased the boutique next door to Bill’s Toggery in 2015.
“This is about Shelly working two jobs,” Wermerskirchen said. “We don’t want to make it about the pandemic because we were talking about these things, anyways, and just trying to simplify our lives.”
Shelly’s Boutique will hold its going-out-of-business sale from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, June 26; 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. that Saturday; and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. It will return to normal business hours until the remaining inventory is sold.
Brinkhaus will try to either sell or rent the retail space occupied by her boutique. She will continue as the tailor at Bill’s Toggery.
“Shelly has been doing double duty for quite a while, managing the boutique while continuing to do the tailoring at Bill’s Toggery,” Wermerskirchen said in a written statement. “That’s been quite demanding on her, and we’re both thrilled that as she ends her duties at the boutique she’ll continue to be our tailor and an outstanding customer service ambassador.”
Brinkhaus, who started sewing when she was five, has been a professional tailor since 1983.
“We could be sad, but we choose not to be for so many reasons,” Brinkhaus said in a written statement. “The boutique has given me the creative freedom to provide a unique shopping experience for so many women I’ve made relationships with.
She added, “Continuing my work at Bill’s Toggery will allow me to keep doing what I love — sewing — while also reducing my workload a bit.”
Wermerskirchen said Bill’s Toggery will prepare a new tailor shop for Brinkhaus as the boutique closes.
“We’re looking forward to building on our tradition of stellar customer care as we move into our next 90 years.”