Biz Buzz shares business tidbits from the tri-state area. This week, we highlight developments in Galena, Ill.; Epworth, Iowa; and Shullsburg, Wis.
GALENA, Ill. — Just months after opening its doors in Galena, a women’s clothing boutique is appealing to new demographics and plotting a sizable expansion.
Editrix Row opened a brick-and-mortar location at 214 N. Main St. in February, according to owner Marisa Linn. The business sells women’s clothing in a wide variety of sizes, as well as shoes, handbags, jewelry and other accessories.
Linn started the business as an online-only operation about three years ago. The company’s consistent growth left her at a crossroads.
“I was running this business and still working my day job and eventually I realized I had to choose one or the other,” she recalled. “I decided to go for it and open this location.”
Linn hopes to fill a niche in Galena by offering “trendy and contemporary” clothing, which she said was in short supply in the city. Clothing for “curvy” women was “virtually nonexistent” in Galena before her business’ arrival, she added.
High demand for these larger sizes has been the main driver behind a planned expansion.
Editrix Row is renovating a large portion of its first floor — which is currently used for storage — in hopes of adding fitting rooms and doubling the selling space. The expansion should be complete at some point this fall.
Linn’s decade of experience in the fashion industry influenced the name of her business. While attending fashion shows, she observed that there was always an “editrix row” – a group a fashion magazine editors that sat off to the side of the runway.
She figured that term applied to her store’s Galena location, which is situated on a portion of Main Street that curves upward toward Diagonal Street.
“We’re kind of off the beaten path, off to the side a bit, but we have a lot to say about fashion,” said Linn.
Editrix Row is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday and Monday and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday. It is closed on Tuesdays. It can be reached at 815-977-7117.
END OF AN ERA
An optical center in Epworth, Iowa, will close its doors at the end of the month, marking the end of a 27-year run for the small-town business.
Owner Tim Cox confirmed that Friday, Sept. 27, will mark the final day of business for Cox Optical, 101 E. Main St.
Cox began his career in the optical industry in 1973. He opened his Epworth business in 1992.
Reflecting on nearly three decades of business ownership, Cox said he enjoyed developing close relationships with his customers.
“Working in a small town for all these years, it is a very personable experience,” Cox said. “You become a friend to everybody and they become a friend to you.”
Cox Optical provides eye exams and sells eyeglasses and contact lenses. In addition to serving Epworth residents, the business served customers from more than a dozen surrounding communities.
The closure of Cox Optical will not mean the end of its owner’s career.
On Sept. 30, Cox will begin working at Hartig Optical in Dubuque, where he will serve as an optician. He noted than any eyeglass warranties from Cox Optical still will be honored at Hartig Optical.
For the next three weeks, Cox Optical will remain open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday and from 9 a.m. to noon on Wednesday. The business can be reached at 563-876-3083.
FORMING A PARTNERSHIP
A pet-grooming business and a fitness center in Shullsburg, Wis., are forging a unique partnership.
Customers at The Shag N Wag Pet Salon & Training now can work up a sweat at Shullsburg Community Health & Fitness for $5.
Shag N Wag co-owner Heather Christopher said the new cross-promotion offers a sensible option for her customers.
“Eighty-five percent of our clientele comes from out of town, and there is a one- or two-hour turnaround (for grooming),” she explained. “Most people want to stay in town and pick up their pet after the service is concluded. This gives them another thing to do.”
Christopher opened her business in 2012. In addition to grooming services for dogs and cats, Shag N Wag provides behavioral consultation and obedience classes for canines. The business recently moved from its original location on Water Street to a larger space at 106 Wisconsin 11.
Christopher said it is possible that the cross-promotion is the first of its kind.
“I haven’t seen anything similar in other towns, with a groomer and fitness center,” said Christopher. “But these days, I know people want to stay active and healthy.”
She anticipates the promotion will gain even more traction come winter, when customers are less likely to work up a sweat by walking outdoors.
Shullsburg Community Health & Fitness co-owner Peggy Steger said she is excited about the possibilities.
“I think it will help spread the word, especially among those who are visiting from outlying communities,” she said.
Shullsburg Community Health & Fitness, a 24-hour facility, is located at 142 E. Water St., and can be reached at 608-482-1514.
Shag N Wag is open Monday through Friday. Customers can make appointments by calling 608-482-1467.