BEREA, Ohio — For Julie Ohmer, owning her own boutique was a lifelong dream.
“My parents always told me I’d end up in the world of fashion,” she said.
In March 2020, she opened Whimsical Gal Boutique. That’s when the pandemic hit, so “it was hard for a bit,” she said. She began offering women’s clothing and accessories online and through a mobile app.
In July 2020, she opened the doors on a brick-and-mortar shop at 398 W. Bagley Road in the Berea Business Incubator in what used to Williamsport Plaza. She’s in Unit No. 17. The Incubator is across from West Valley Plaza.
“People wanted to try on the clothes they were looking at online,” Ohmer said. “So, I did it.”
The 800-square-foot space is stocked with jeans, slacks, tops, belts, purses, jewelry and a dressing room. A top seller is Judy Blue Jeans, she said. “People ask about those all the time.”
The inventory appeals to a wide range of women and teens. Ohmer said she’s had customers from 13 years old to women in their 70s. Sizes are from extra small to 3X.
“I try to provide something for everyone,” she said.
Ohmer also ships to clients who are not comfortable visiting the store or live out of the area. Customers can order off the Whimsical Gal website or the mobile app.
The shop also stocks items from other local businesses, such as Cleveland Caramel Corn Co.’s gourmet popcorn in a variety of flavors, including vanilla drumstick and peanut butter. There are drink mixings from Nectar Vine as well.
Ohmer’s journey to business owner was a direct path from high school. Once she graduated, she enrolled in Virginia Marti College of Art & Design in Lakewood to study fashion merchandising. She worked for several stores in the area before enrolling in cosmetology school.
“I got all my degrees and certificates and was ready to go,” she said.
She comes by her business sense naturally. Her family owns Glendale Machine Co. in the Cleveland area. “I was around business all my life,” Ohmer said.
Shopping, especially during a pandemic, should be made easier, and Ohmer offers three ways to browse the boutique — visit the store, shop online at the Whimsical Gal website or download the app on Google Play or the App Store.
She will have a display at the last CLE Market of the year on Sept. 15 at Coe Lake.
Whimsical Gal Boutique is at 398 W. Bagley Road, Unit No. 17, and is open 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays and 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays. Call 216-856-1837. Email [email protected]. Website is www.whimsicalgal.com. The boutique is also on Facebook.