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Making History in Woodbury: Unique boutique finds its niche

Owner Deb Terlizzi (right) and daughter Allison Nelson celebrate seven years since opening Mainstream Boutique in Woodbury. Submitted photo

Twenty-six years ago, Marie Denicola decided to put her passions and expertise into play and created an in-home boutique.

Denicola’s business expanded into more than she ever thought and after being featured on the Oprah Winfrey show, things were never the same.

Fast forward to 2017, there are now more than 70 franchise locations nationwide and almost one-third of them in Minnesota alone.

A personal friend of Denicola, Deb Terlizzi is the owner of two of these shops: Mainstream Boutique-Woodbury and Mainstream Boutique-Mendota Heights.

“We actually just celebrated seven years at the Woodbury store,” Terlizzi said proudly as she recalled her personal journey with Mainstream Boutique.

“I was working at my friend’s store in Apple Valley for three years but I was getting a little restless,” she said. “My friend said, ‘Why don’t you just start your own store?’”

That was just the push Terlizzi needed. She moved fast and by 2010 Terlizzi had found the perfect spot for her store in Woodbury. Terlizzi knew she had made the right move when her transition was more seamless than expected.

“The landlord gave us a really good deal … I thought it was a typo!” she laughed. It was meant to be.

According to Terlizzi, Woodbury was well overdue when it came to adding Mainstream Boutique to the local shopping experience.

“Women would drive to the Apple Valley location from Woodbury to shop all the time,” she said. The boutique focuses on unique items.

“We really stay on trend,” Terlizzi said. “We’ll order sometimes just six of something … women follow us on Facebook and know they’re getting something that’s one of a kind,” she said. “Sometimes they buy items right out of the box.”

It’s all about keeping things fresh at Mainstream Boutique in Woodbury, even down to the layout of the store.

“We try to change the store around, mannequins and tables, once a week. If I come in and it hasn’t been changed, there’s a problem” Terlizzi said.

Mainstream Boutique underwent an extreme makeover in 2015. The $45,000 project included new dressing rooms, beautiful chandeliers and the ceiling was cleared.

“When the customers saw the final product they said, ‘Is this Mainstream?’” Terlizzi recalled.

While Terlizzi works a majority of the time in the shop with one of her own daughters, she views her customers like family. It is for this reason that some of her customers will come to work for the shop.

“Customers make the best employees because they love the store,” she said.

Customers give so much to Mainstream Boutique and Terlizzi makes sure that she gives back all the same — not only by providing the latest fashion and trends but through philanthropic support as well.

“People have fundraisers in our shop,” she said. “We also try to set aside one day a month where a percent of our store’s proceeds go to a local family or individual in need.”

Key dates

1991 Marie Denicola Starts Mainstream Boutique

2010 Deb Terlizzi opens Mainstream Boutique-Woodbury

2011 Deb Terlizzi opens Mainstream Boutique-Mendota Heights

2015 Mainstream Boutique-Woodbury undergoes extreme renovation