Casey Plasch needed more room for her dress shop.
She recently added floor-length dresses to her inventory and has plans to add designer shoes.
Plasch had inquired about a larger space at Hilldale Shopping Center, where she opened her 1,400-square-foot Mes Amis Boutique in 2015, but the shopping center's management said she wasn't meeting sales goals and terminated her lease two years early after she rejected a smaller, temporary location in the shopping center next to Macy's.
But Plasch has found a new location that offers more room and could be a boon to her young business.
Plasch will close her Hilldale store on June 30 and move her operation to an 1,800-square-foot retail space in the Middleton Center, a three acre, three-phase development from Terrance Wall in downtown Middleton that when completed will include over 200 apartments, 50,000-square-feet of office space and 35,000-square-feet of ground floor retail.
Mes Amies is expected to open in mid to late July in a space along Hubbard Avenue, just a few doors down from Long Table, a popular craft beer bar and restaurant. While other retail tenants have not yet been announced for the development, the shop will also be near other clothing stores and retailers along Parmenter Street that Plasch said has "tremendous potential" for the growth of her business.
"I think it's going to end up up being a high-end local boutique area," said Plasch, 35, who has been told her Hilldale space will become a Crescendo Espresso Bar. "Our client base just keeps growing and we can't fit all of (our inventory) in here. I'm really excited to join the (Middleton) chamber and to have neighbors that we can come up with events together to bring not only local business but tourist business. I think that's a real possibility in that area."
Mes Amies, a French term that roughly translates to "girlfriends," was moved by Plasch to Hilldale after spending three years in the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago. The space at Hilldale was created during a $15 million redevelopment of the shopping center's north side that created more open air shopping and a pedestrian mall that connects the east side of the shopping center to the west side where Cafe Hollander is located.
But the Middleton Center store isn't all that's on Plasch's plate. She's also in the process of opening an 1,800-square-foot store in downtown Naperville, Illinois. She commutes back and forth between Madison and Naperville and is eyeing even more locations.
"It's been a little crazy," Plasch said. "I'm looking to continue paving our way as a brick and mortar specialty store and am very interested in expanding either as our own company or as a franchise opportunity. I really am motivated and believe in the positive atmosphere that we provide for women of all ages to come together and I am looking forward to becoming a central gathering space for women in more cities to come."