By Kathleen Swift
Entrepreneurship runs in the family of mother and daughter duo Deanna Ness and Beth Stewart. Beth’s grandparents owned an insurance agency in Nevada for many years, and Beth worked after school for them when she was in high school.
“I knew I wanted to be my own boss from my experience with my grandparents, but I wasn’t that interested in the insurance business,” said Beth. “When I was in high school, I also worked in a local gift shop. I loved the beautiful merchandise, and I liked helping people. When I decided to open my own business, my kids were small, and I started with a children’s clothing store. As my kids grew, I began to think more about what items I would like to buy for myself and wanted a business that would help create community for women. My business grew into Belles and Beaus, a boutique that offers clothing, shoes and accessories for children and women. We carry many luscious boutique clothing items, and brands like Kendra Scott, Myra bags, and we also offer in-house embroidery and custom t-shirts. One unique thing about the store is that we carry many items from local artisans.”
Beth’s mother, Deanna, retired after 36 years at 3M in Nevada, and she decided to open her own retail business.
“I purchased Second Edition,” said Deanna. “We’re a local consignment shop and carry women’s, children’s and men’s clothing as well as accessories. We have a good selection of gently used name-brand items such as Chico’s, Alfred Dunner, American Eagle and Gap, among others.”
What makes these shops convenient and exciting is they share floor space. Beth explained, “We see women shop in the boutique and then later, they might sell their items in Second Edition. They get credit that can be used in either store and can shop at Second Edition or walk back to the boutique side to buy something new. It’s a win-win.
“This is our third location. For a while, we each had our own stores, but then we decided that if we were in the same building, we could share staff and divide the work. It has worked out very well.”
“That depends on the day,” quipped Deanna with a laugh. “Really, it is wonderful.”
Just before the pandemic, Beth and Deanna launched their website for the businesses.
“It was a God thing for us to be up and running before the pandemic. We had to close for six weeks, and having the website made it easier for our customers to shop.”
Both women credit their loyal customers for their success.
“Throughout COVID and during the time we were closed, our customers supported us. Our local people continue to shop with us using in-store and curbside pick-up. We also ship items to customers. We make customer service our top priority,” said Beth.
The women have 12 employees, including graphic designers, to help run the businesses.
“We can’t say enough about our employees,” said Beth. “Many of them have been with us for years, and they are the best.”
You will find Belles and Beaus and Second Edition at 616 E. Walnut, in Nevada, Missouri, and on Facebook and at their website, www.shopbellesandbeausboutique.com.
Photo Caption: Beth Stewart (owner), Tiffany Miller, Deanna Ness (owner), Morgan Sanderson, Sarah Arnold and Alison Bower