Unique Boutique: Customers find treasures and friendly family service at Pratt store
Unique Boutique in Pratt is billed as a women's second-hand clothing store, but there are actually a wide variety of items that can be found there, including men's hats and man-cave specialities. The store at 621 S. Main Street was recently closed for a few days while owner LeeAnn Schneider took a mini-vacay with her family, but it is back open for regular hours now.
After being open for five successful years, Unique Boutique, like many other shops, was forced to temporarily shut down their consignment store due to COVID-19 last year. This was a particularly difficult time for Schneider because she was left with unanswered questions as to what would happen in the future.
“We just had to have faith that everything was going to work out and hope that customers would come back to shop with us,” Schneider said.
Schneider said she has always worked at consignment stores and has wanted one of her own ever since. When the former Sassy Sisters owner put the building up for sale, Schneider jumped at the opportunity to purchase the building. Unique Boutique officially open it's doors on June 1, 2016.
Since purchasing the building, Schneider has made a few changes to the structure of it. First, Schneider removed the stairs that led to the basement in the back. She also added and renewed the dressing rooms and broke down some walls for extra space. Schneider then opened up a book room near the back for all the book worms. Lastly, with the help of the city, they were able to add a new sidewalk on the side.
Schneider is a kind woman who enjoys getting to know her customers and meeting new ones every day. Because of her consignment store, Schneider has been able to form new bonds and friendships with her customers.
“We get so many different people in that otherwise I wouldn’t have had a chance to meet,” she said.
When asked what her company’s goal was, Schneider said the main one was to just be able to provide products for her customers. This is because making sure that everyone is satisfied is most important to her in a company. Another goal of hers was to just simply have the opportunity to stay open during these times.
The most unique aspect of Unique Boutique is that the customer will always find something different with every visit. Every person who brings in consignment items brings in something different, so it’s always a mystery as to what treasure a customer may find next.
When a frequent customer was asked what she likes about the business, she said, “I love that they have a lot of different items every time I go in and that every item isn’t broken. The staff is very helpful and friendly as well.”
When Schneider first bought the building, it was stressful for her because she had never owned a business of her own before. This made it difficult for her to start out. Schneider also mentioned that the cost of opening up a business was challenging.
“If it is something that you truly want to do, then never give up because you will find a way to make it work,” she said.
Schneider said she really enjoys having her own store and she appreciates all the customers that show her support. She runs the business with the help of her daughter whom she absolutely loves working with. Schneider mentioned that if it weren’t for her daughter, Rachel Schneider, she would not have done all that she has accomplished. She is also glad that she has had the opportunity to do a little part in serving the community.