Boutique business is booming because of REAP

Nancy Flock contributed to this blog.

The clothing industry has been calling to Evelyn Vasquez since she was 18 years old.

So, when the right opportunity presented itself, she seized the moment, and has spent the last five years growing and building her business to meet the needs of customers and the community.

Grand Island, Nebraska, is the home of Evelyn’s shop, Velyn’s Boutique. A clothing store for the whole family, specialty clothing items like prom dresses and Quinceanera attire are also available, as well as accessories such as women’s shoes and perfumes.

Cell phone amenities like mobile recharges, prepaid, page plus, and Verizon services, can also be found within the walls of the boutique.

Evelyn says her store is necessary in the Grand Island area, and that she has picked her merchandise specifically to cater her clientele.

“We carry a little bit of everything to meet the demands of the community,” she said. “I believe the way I manage my business has been improving over the last few years—I’ve made changes that have helped my business be successful.”

Those changes have been made possible through financing and training from the Center for Rural Affairs Rural Enterprise Assistance Project (REAP). Griselda Rendon, Latino loan specialist with the Center, has assisted Evelyn during the last few years.

“When I started with REAP in 2014, I stopped at Evelyn’s store to introduce myself and see how REAP would be able to assist,” said Griselda. “Since then, she has always tried to make time to participate or attend the Center’s trainings.”

The business owner has also attended a majority of the Center’s Coffee Table meetings, and has benefited from one-on-one assistance in bookkeeping and strategic planning.

“She is dedicated to growing her business,” said Griselda. “To Evelyn, it is very important to stay informed and up-to-date on any issues affecting her business. She is committed, successful, and a very outgoing businesswoman.”

Evelyn has been extremely satisfied with the services she’s received through REAP, and says attending the training sessions was well worth the time and has paid off for her business.

“Working with the Center has been a great experience,” she said. “The REAP staff are people I can rely on for my business questions and needs. Without REAP, my business wouldn’t be as successful as it is.”

At a Glance

Velyn’s Boutique
406 W. 4th St., Grand Island, Neb.
Hours: Monday to Thursday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Friday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.