New Clothing Boutique Opens in Rhinelander Submitted: 01/19/2018
Story By Fitzgerald, Maggie

New Clothing Boutique Opens in Rhinelander
RHINELANDER - These days, it can feel like physical stores get overshadowed by online shopping. But that's not completely true in Rhinelander.

A new women's clothing boutique opened today in downtown Rhinelander.

Oak Tree Boutique owner and Rhinelander native Amber Bellile remembers a time from her childhood when downtown flourished.

"Over the years once I moved away and would come back I noticed businesses were shutting down," said Bellile. 

Bellile is a social worker by profession but last April started an online clothing store from her Rhinelander home. When it got popular she decided to open a shop in downtown Rhinelander.

The boutique sells women's clothing size small to 3-XL, bags, shoes, and accessories. Bellile prides herself on finding fashion for all shapes and sizes.

"Their faces light up like I've never found something fit like this, I've never liked this cut before and now I like it. Just being able to see people find their strengths and not be so self-conscious," said Bellile.

Transitioning from online to a physical store is a trend that Rhinelander Chamber of Commerce Director Maggie Steffen has seen before in the city.

"Build it and they will come. That's exactly what's happening. Every time we get a new store down there or a new business it draws someone else," said Steffen.

Sales associate at Tricia's Treasures Lenore Blemke agrees that more foot traffic is better for all downtown business.

"We look at it as somewhat competition but that's good. It brings more people in and we're very happy she decided to open up a live store," said Blemke.

Although a risky investment, Oak Tree Boutique has the support of its neighbors.

"The downtown has struggled for a long time. I give her a lot of credit for wanting to start something," said Blemke.

As a new business owner, Bellile has a focused goal.

"We all want to make money and we all want to have good things in Rhinelander," said Bellile.

For Bellile, the most rewarding part of her job is a happy customer.

"If it works, it works, great. And if I've changed a couple people's lives, great," said Bellile.

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