Since the Edina location of Mainstream Boutique opened at Centennial Lakes Plaza last April, it’s been a place where generations of women have found common ground. “I’ve had teenagers and women who are in their 80s come in and buy the same top and wear it completely differently,” says franchise owner Jennifer Max. This is exactly what Max envisioned when she decided to start her own business.
“When I was in my 30s—maybe about 10 years ago—I felt like I couldn’t find clothes that I liked that were age appropriate,” she says. “They were either too young and frivolous or too old and conservative.” Her inspiration sparked action two years ago after a friend told her about Mainstream Boutique. “It’s a franchise but you can be your own buyer,” says Max, who has always found joy in the world of fashion. “I just thought it would be the perfect thing for me.”
Max has embraced the life of a fashion buyer and consistently attends trade shows across the country to create a curated selection of unique styles that blur the borders of style based on age. The boutique’s unique selection ensures that shoppers won’t be caught wearing the same thing as everyone else. “We only carry six pieces of a clothing item, and when it’s gone it’s gone,” Max says. In addition to clothing, there’s an ever-changing selection of jewelry, small gifts and shoes.
Catering to a wide age range of shoppers is no doubt a difficult task, but Max finds inspiration in offering this service to the community. “We carry a line of jeans that are on trend but they fit all body types, a line of big chunky sweaters that are not revealing but still cute and fun. [People] want things that are not too fitted and not too frumpy,” Max says of the women who have become her regular clients.
Max offers fashion tips that can help you wrap up the winter months in style with colors that’ll have you dreaming of budding trees and the return of the red-winged black birds. Shades of cranberry, mauve and olive green offer rich pops of color so that fashion can help brighten the snowy landscape in these whiteout months of winter. Shades of black and gray will always hold a warm place in our Minnesota hearts during the winter months, but Max recommends mixing in some patterns. “Mix a narrow-stripped top with camo jeans, or small prints with large graphic prints,” she says. Wide legged pants are in style again, and Max recommends pairing them with short booties. Spring will offer a chance to experiment in the coat department, with lots of trendy options to mix and match including shorter “moto” jackets, colorful trench coats and longer “boyfriend” blazers that go down to mid-thigh.
As we celebrate new beginnings in a new year, Max continues to celebrate this new season of her life as a business owner and finding joy in providing styles for women who are sometimes forgotten in fashion.