State Street boutique Citrine sells a dress for any occasion. Owner Ellen Despins opened the boutique in 2007 in the former home of The Jewelers Workshop, an artist’s gallery and studio that had been open since the 1970s. Despins tore out the drop-ceiling and discovered spacious, vaulted ceilings and wrought iron-accented transom windows that had been hidden for decades. She had the exposed ceiling painted a vibrant Citrine yellow and filled the floor space with dresses and women’s casual wear, a specialty she’s finessed after owning multiple retail stores in Madison.
“We try to be unique, we don’t want it to be the same thing you find in the mall,” she said.
Despins carries cocktail gowns and formal wear and sells to college and high school students, although she says an equal share of her business is for professional women buying dresses .
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“It’s youthful, but the style is not just for students,” she said.
During prom season, Despins estimates half of her customer base is high school students from outside Dane County. They come to buy a dress that won’t be seen on any other student, she said.
Citrine also carries casual women’s wear, day dresses, Miss Me jeans, costume jewelry, and dozens of varieties of scarves.