Serendipity Boutique adds to downtown vitality, opening Nov. 6

Deb Moldaschel
The Sleepy Eye Herald Dispatch

The old State Bank building, one of Sleepy Eye's most prominent downtown buildings—on the southwest corner of Main Street and 1st Avenue, is coming to life as the home of a brand new shop in Sleepy Eye. Crystal Ibberson will open Serendipity Boutique in the grand space on Saturday, Nov. 6. The store will carry clothing—for women, men and children—accessories, shoes, gifts, and more.

Crystal Ibberson shows off some of the merchandise in her new downtown Sleepy Eye shop, Serendipity Boutique, where she is putting together the final touches for a planned opening of Nov. 6.

Crystal said the boutique is something she's thought about for years and finally decided that now was the time. “With the pandemic and other life experiences, I realized life is too short to not follow through with your dreams,” she said.

Early last spring Crystal and her husband, Matt, starting looking for a suitable location in downtown Sleepy Eye. She said they just weren't finding the right space when Matt suggested he should talk to the owner of the State Bank building—a building that has undergone a number of recent exterior upgrades—and that turned out to be the right fit. Now Serendipity Boutique is another reuse of a building on an increasingly active Sleepy Eye Main Street.

Crystal and Matt leased the space this summer and began renovating with an eye toward showcasing its earliest features, from its marble surfaces and stained glass to the crown molding on its soaring ceilings. The boutique’s most unique piece of history, on prominent display in the sales room, is the large bank vault that once held the fortunes of untold farmers, shop owners and others from Sleepy Eye’s past. Retaining that history while providing another boost to life on Main Street is doubly sweet for the Ibbersons who love their hometown.

Crystal sees Serendipity Boutique meeting a need for local shoppers while also drawing from nearby towns and even farther away. To stock the racks, she researched wholesalers from as far away as California and consulted friends and contacts in the clothing industry.

“The cool thing about a boutique is the inventory is constantly changing,” she said. “You’re always going to find new things.”

Tentative hours for Serendipity will be 4 to 7 p.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays, and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sundays. Crystal said she will post updates and peeks at inventory on her Serendipity Boutique Facebook page.