After more than 18 years of providing quality women’s clothing in all sizes, DJ’s Boutique in Hill City will close its doors on Monday, Oct. 31.
The idea for the small Main Street shop was born out of necessity. In the late 1990s, local Dolores Jean (Dee) Schrier’s favorite place to buy plus-sized apparel went out of business.
“I thought, ‘I have nowhere to buy clothes,’” she recalled. “So my husband and I put together the idea to open our own dress shop.”
On March 1, 1998, Schrier opened DJ’s Boutique on Hill City’s Main Street, filling the need for quality clothing for herself and the town as a whole.
“There were no clothing stores available in Hill City,” she explained.
Schrier’s biggest challenge throughout her years as a shop owner was learning how to cater to the tastes of her customers and choosing clothing they would want to wear.
This attention to the desires of her patrons paid off, as Schrier gathered a group of loyal repeat customers who came from as far away as Spearfish, Sioux Falls and Newcastle, Wyo.
“I’ll miss my good repeat customers,” Schrier said. “I’ve loved getting to know the people and customers who return year after year.”
Schrier’s other challenge has been trying to stock her shop with as much made in the U.S.A and Canada clothing as possible.
“If we don’t support the USA, who’s going to?” Schrier explained.
Schrier is closing DJ’s so she can retire.
“I just got old and tired,” she joked.
Her big plans for retirement include going out to lunch with friends and playing cards.
“I haven’t gone out for lunch in forever,” she said.
She also plans to travel with her husband, visiting family in Iowa and vacationing in Branson, Mo.
The Sioux Falls owner of the space will handle finding a new commercial renter for the building but DJ’s Boutique will be no more. Schrier never even thought of selling her business.
“I started DJ’s and I’m finishing it,” she said.
In order to close the store with a bang, Schrier started a retirement sale in August, offering 75 percent off all store merchandise, excluding Avon products.
About a week before the retirement sale began, Schrier fell and was seriously injured. While she endured seven weeks of recovery, her daughter and her friends covered the boutique.
“I just want to thank my daughter, Ranae, who has been a big help over the years, and my super friends who kept the store open,” Schrier said. “We’d never have been able to keep the sale going without them.”
Despite the complication, the sale seems to be going well, as the store gets more and more empty by the day.
As Schrier reflects on her years in business and looks forward to her retirement, she seems content with her decision to close.
“I think you feel it,” she said. “It seemed like the time was right and it’s been a pleasure to serve the community.”