Backwards Boutique set to open Nov. 16

Allison Ullmann - Staff
Backwards Boutique will have a grand opening on Nov. 16 and 17. PHOTO BY ALLISON ULLMANN/THE PERRY CHIEF

Those driving by 1124 2nd St. will be sure to notice the words Backwards Boutique spelled out across the large front window.

The logo went up on Tuesday, Sept. 25, along with a gold-foil logo above the back counter. Empty mannequins and hanging racks will soon be filled with clothes and other inventory as owner Emily Leslie prepares for the opening of her new business.

Backwards Boutique will have a grand opening on Nov. 16 and 17. Leslie said the business will first have a soft opening during Art on the Prairie on Nov. 10 and 11.

Leslie has lived in Perry for the last four years with her husband, Dan, and their children. The pair were having coffee in the old Perry Perk location on 2nd Street shortly after moving to town.

They decided to walk around the downtown area and saw 1124 2nd St.

“We saw the building and we’re like ‘Wouldn’t it be cool to have a women’s clothing store in there?’” Leslie said.

They then looked around town for investment properties through their business, Backwards Property. The pair renovated the building housing Haaland Financial Services and the building housing the relocated Perry Perk.

They then turned their attention to 1124 2nd St.

“Are we going to this? Are we going to make it happen?” Leslie said of opening a clothing shop in the space. “We thought about it and we prayed about it and we said ‘Let’s do it.’”

They went to market in Las Vegas with the intention of opening the business in the spring. Leslie said they recently came home from market on a Thursday and their first shipment came in on Monday.

More inventory started coming in and Leslie said they decided to open the shop in November. They called their vendors and asked what they had for the fall and winter seasons. They will be going to another market show next week in Des Moines.

Work will then turn to moving the inventory into the store.

“We will have clothing for people who need clothing for work, for casual, for school,” Leslie said, in sizes from extra small to 3X.

The store will also carry three different price points of jeans, blouses, cardigans, dresses and more. Leslie added that they will also sell jewelry, wallets, shoes and other accessories.

One unique feature, she said, will be a ring bar where customers can find and stack their own rings to form a unique design.

“We’re trying to find more vendors that are local for our accessories, so it’s not the same piece that you’ve found in other boutiques or stores,” Leslie said.

Select clothing items will also be available online, at The online store will launch on Nov. 16.

“So for those people who can’t get into the store or want to buy things online, they can do that too,” Leslie said. “But we definitely want people to come into the store because that’s where the heart and soul of the business is.”

Leslie added that they will save more of the exclusive pieces just for the store. They will also carry a number of familiar brands, including Flying Monkey Jeans, Lush and others.

The store will then start offering tuxedo rentals in January for prom, weddings and other special occasions.

Leslie encourages shoppers to stop in frequently and see what is in stock. She is only ordering one size run of everything, so the inventory will continue to change.

“It’s fun that way because there is always something new coming,” she said.

The store will be open from 12-7 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and from 9-4 p.m. on Saturday.