In a quote, Rae Johnson found the inspiration for the mission statement and name of her new boutique.
She was in the process of researching resale clothing businesses when she came across the words of author Diane Mariechild.
They were, “A woman is the full circle. Within her is the power to create, nurture and transform.”
Those words became the basis for what Johnson wanted her business to be.
“It all kind of flowed from there,” she said.
On Feb. 22, Johnson opened Full Circle Boutique, at 215 N. Main St. in downtown Waupaca.
The store is located in the former Natural Sanctuary space.
At Full Circle Boutique, Johnson accepts women’s clothing, shoes, jewelry and accessories.
She also accepts young women’s clothing, prom dresses, mother-of-the-bride dresses and original art and jewelry.
Consignment items need to be new, look like new or be very gently used. The store’s inventory will be seasonal and updated.
Johnson accepts name brand clothing and nothing from discount stores.
Opening her own business is an idea she had years ago as a fashion merchandise major working at area women’s clothing stores.
When she began raising her family, she put the idea on the backburner.
Johnson later graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point with a degree in public relations. She spent the last 10 years working in banking.
Last fall, she again felt the pull to open her own boutique.
Mary Jo Solberg closed Concepts 646 last year, the women’s consignment clothing store she operated for 15 years in Waupaca.
“I started thinking about it,” Johnson said of opening such a store.
Growing up on a dairy farm and being one of four children, Johnson was raised to be thrifty.
Her family went to garage and rummage sales and also to thrift stores.
Johnson met with Solberg several times to talk about consignment stores.
“She was a great resource,” Johnson said. “I sat down with her for lunch, and I interviewed her. She was very giving. She was one of the best resources I had.”
Solberg became her mentor, and soon, women were stopping to see Johnson at her new store, saying, “Mary Jo said you’re opening. I had to check you out.”
Johnson’s business combines her desire for meaningful work with creativity and independence.
“To own your own business and be independent, as a woman, is very important, empowering,” she said.
Empowering other woman is something she also wants to do at her boutique.
Johnson says she not only wants to offer quality clothing at reasonable prices but a place for women to go for information about services and ways to volunteer.
“Eventually, I want it to culminate into almost like a gathering place and have people come in and do talks about services and things available for women,” she said.
Initially, she is putting together an information center, and her boutique will also have a refreshments bar.
“I think there is a need for women to uplift and empower each other,” Johnson said.
In introducing herself to her downtown neighbors, she noticed a great number of the businesses are owned by women. She looks forward to collaborating with them.
It was last November that Johnson discovered the space for her business. She signed a lease on Jan. 1.
“When I had this whole idea, I called my family and said, ‘This is what I want to do. I need your help,’” she said.
Her father, Clark Sellers, used 1/2-inch black pipe and scrap wood to build clothing racks, and her sisters, Holly Hanson and Kelly Hudson, also helped Johnson with the project.
Hanson found inspiration on the Internet for the wood floor, and Hudson helped paint and develop the website – www.fullcircleboutique.com – for the business.
Integral in the construction were Scott Hanson and Doug Stelzner.
Full Circle Boutique is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m Thursday and Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.
Those who want to be consigners may call Johnson at 715-513-0278 to set up an appointment.