RACINE, WI. OCT. 14, 2021 – Plush Clothing downtown Racine has been named the winner in the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation’s (WEDC’s) second Main Street Mini-Makeover Contest.
An outgrowth of WEDC’s popular Main Street Makeover contest, the mini-makeover was designed specifically to benefit retailers who want a new look in anticipation of holiday shopping. The larger makeover contest generally requires a full-scale remodel and has substantial costs, while the mini-makeover will provide a simpler merchandising refresh.
“It is amazing to see how business owners with just a bit of creativity and assistance can make their space welcoming to customers and visitors,” said Missy Hughes, secretary and CEO of WEDC. “I was fortunate enough to visit Plush this summer and can’t wait to see what the store looks like when work is completed.”
The plus size women’s clothing boutique has been drawing women to its downtown Racine location since opening in 2019. The shop, which gets its name from an acronym for Pretty, Lovely, Unique, Sexy, Happy, strives to create a comfortable shopping environment where all women can discover clothes that make them feel good, owner Yolanda Coleman said.
Coleman worked in retail management for more than 30 years before opening her own boutique to reach a market – plus-size women – who were not being served by other retailers.
“It’s amazing – this opportunity to be able to have some other eyes looking at my space to ensure my customers to have a good experience is just awesome,” Coleman said. “I have always had the dream of running this shop, and built it little by little but this opportunity takes the dream a little higher.”
As the winner of the mini-makeover, Plush Clothing will receive personalized technical design and marketing guidance as well as assistance to enhance her store’s lighting, improve flow throughout the shop and create a more enticing storefront.
“When I visited Plush this summer with Senator Tammy Baldwin, I was blown away by the hard-working staff and excellent management,” said state Rep. Greta Neubauer. “I am so glad that now we have the opportunity to celebrate everything they have achieved in Racine. I can’t wait to see what they’ll do with their hard-earned mini-makeover!”
A team made up of WEDC staff and professionals from Retailworks Inc., a Milwaukee-based interior commercial design firm will work closely with the team at Plush to develop the shop’s new look.
The makeover will be completed during a 24-hour event in early November after the shop completes its series of breast cancer awareness month events in October. A two-time survivor, Coleman is planning to sell cancer awareness merchandise, with proceeds gifted to a local woman currently fighting breast cancer.
The owner of the property, Mt. Royal Property Management, will be undertaking a renovation of the building and storefront façade during the same period, using Racine’s Commercial Building Façade Grant Program, which provides matching funds for façade enhancement projects.
“We are thrilled Plush Clothing was picked for this makeover,” said Kelly Kruse of the Downtown Racine Corporation. “Yolanda does an outstanding job of branding her clothing line, and this grant will catapult her business to the next level.”
The contest is designed to raise awareness of the Wisconsin Main Street Program and Connect Communities Program, which are the two downtown revitalization initiatives overseen by WEDC. The programs provide support and training for communities and organizations dedicated to downtown revitalization efforts.
The Wisconsin Main Street Program has resulted in the creation of more than 2,800 new businesses and 15,000 new jobs in Wisconsin since its inception in 1987.