JOSEPH — An opportunity doesn’t come like this every day — an open store to rent on Joseph’s Main Street.
That’s how Miranda Micka and Madison Ribich came to turn their online baby clothing store into a real, brick-and-mortar establishment in June. The Rustic Summit is located at 11 S. Main Street.
The best friends and fellow Enterprise High School alums had operated their online business since 2017, but when Shelby Graning moved her Roots Salon down the street, it created an opportunity Micka and Ribich couldn’t pass up.
“The opportunity came up, so we jumped on it,” Micka said.
Ribich was out of town traveling when the Chieftain stopped by. She spends time in France, Micka said, but often returns to help with the store.
She said the original online business was largely Ribich’s idea.
“It was an easy way to start an online business,” she said. “We made baskets for baby showers that could be shipped. Besides, everyone’s always going to be having babies.”
The focus is still largely on baby clothing but having a real retail location has allowed the store to expand.
Now, they also sell jewelry, home décor, small furniture and art.
But by their very nature, babies outgrow their clothing quickly.
“That’s what I’ve found,” Micka said.
The store’s target customers are grandparents and friends of the parents of babies looking for something unique to purchase for baby showers, birthdays, Christmas or other special occasions.
“And we’re pretty affordable,” she said.
As an example, she explained the store’s modeling discount. If a customer has their child model a purchase from the Rustic Summit and takes photos of the model, then posts the photos on social media — such as Facebook or Instagram — with a caption saying where the clothing came from, the customer gets 15% off their next purchase.
Micka is married to Jacob Micka, who teaches at Joseph Charter School. She only works at the store part time. This winter, she’ll be helping coach the girls high school basketball team.
So far, the store’s been a success, both financially and socially.
“The summer was great,” she said. “I love how the merchants in Joseph work together and everybody’s so helpful.”
As for the future, she has high hopes.
“We’ll see how the winter goes,” she said. “That’s always the true test.”
Winter hours for the Rustic Summit will be 11 a.m. to about 5 p.m. Thursday through Sunday, Micka said.