Be Still Boutique in downtown Brookings offers plants with names, more

LEFT: Proprietor Jeryn Christensen offers a variety of items for customers to browse from at her Be Still Boutique in downtown Brookings. RIGHT: Among Jeryn Christensen’s wares at Be Still Boutique are delightful plants bearing names — and they’ve been real popular with customers, she said. (Mondell Keck/Brookings Register)

BROOKINGS — Getting a business up and running is no easy task but, fortunately for Jeryn Christensen and her Be Still Boutique in downtown Brookings, she was nowhere near alone with the heavy lifting: Her family was alongside her the entire time.

“They all had a hand in making this happen, which I’m really grateful for because it wouldn’t have happened without all of them,” Christensen said of her parents and siblings.

Their help has certainly given Be Still Boutique a homey feel to it — from the desk crafted by her father and brother to the wallpaper her mother helped hang to painting her sisters gave a hand with. The end result? A boutique bursting with options for shoppers looking for that something special for themselves, a friend, a loved one or an acquaintance.

Christensen carries women’s products, size small through 3X. She offers accessories, plants with names — no, really! — and she also has candles, shoes, gift items, paper items, along with dresses, hats, tops, bottoms, lotion products, wellness items, notebooks, clips, cards — basically, just a little bit of everything.

“The clothes are definitely my bestseller, but I’ve been surprised at how many plants people are buying — they’re really loving the plants,” Christensen said. “I sell a lot of accessories and a lot of my notebooks and stickers are doing really well (along with) my keychains. Just those small-gift items, just because people like giving gifts and — if they’re small-dollar amount — people tend to just buy it even if they stop in and not wanting any clothes, so those do really well.”

One could say Christensen has a nose for the boutique business; after all, her mother had a similar business in Arlington before retiring.

“I grew up around — so my Mom has a home décor store, or she had; she just retired — so I grew up around her doing her thing, starting her own business, and that’s something I really wanted to do,” Christensen said.

Her mother’s home décor store was called Prairie Porch. “She did that for 10 years,” Christensen said. “She actually bought an old house and renovated it, so her home décor items were actually in a home, so that was kind of fun.”

A 2019 graduate of Arlington High School, Christensen went to South Dakota State University, where she graduated in May 2022 with degrees in entrepreneurial studies and fashion studies. Following that milestone, life took her to the American Southwest — Las Vegas, to be specific.

It was marketing that drew her there, but she was also busy in the online sphere at the same time establishing the Web-based version of Be Still Boutique, It wasn’t long after, though, that a chance to expand into the physical world emerged.

“I knew I just wanted to build a following and see what that kind of business was like,” Christensen said. “Then, yeah, all of a sudden this space kind of came to me — I wasn’t really looking to open a store, but someone came to me and mentioned that this space was open and I kind of just went with it.”

The brick-and-mortar version of Be Still Boutique opened April 1 at 414 Main Ave. It was around that time Christensen had first-hand experience with the generosity that Brookings is known for.

“On opening day, me and Hand Tied (Floral Boutique) — we had the same opening day, and we both kind of sent customers each other’s way,” Christensen said. “A lot of other businesses kind of gave us some shout-outs to stop in and they’ve been posting on social media about stopping in, so they’ve been really helpful.”

She recently joined the Brookings Area Chamber of Commerce and also had kind words for the helpfulness of Downtown Brookings.

“We’ll see if that kind of helps bring more people and get my name out there a lot more,” Christensen said. “I like being downtown, especially because I like the experience of walking to several different shops and there’s a lot of boutiques downtown which really help each other out because everybody likes going to different stores when they’re shopping downtown.” 

All that said, it was Arlington that Christensen initially hoped to open a store — but things just didn’t quite pan out. 

“It wasn’t necessarily — I wasn’t set on Brookings. I wanted to open a store in Arlington just because to be local and my Mom brought business to Arlington, and I kind of wanted to do the same,” Christensen said. “There wasn’t any spaces that were available or that spoke to me.” 

She continued, “I knew that Brookings was definitely my next option just because I do see all the events that they hold and how the community just all comes together and supports local — so I knew that Brookings would be the right place for me if it wasn’t Arlington.”

Beyond site selection, another key process for Christensen was the boutique’s name — and it was something she dwelt upon for a long time.

“I knew I wanted the name to be meaningful and so I was looking at feminine names or Biblical names and I stumbled upon Psalm 46:10, ‘Be still and know that I am God,’” Christensen said. “I realized Be Still Boutique sounded really pretty and also I love the saying, ‘Be still my heart,’ which is just like what you say when you’re overwhelmed with love or emotion. I knew that I wanted to base it off of that, and just to know that I want to give my shoppers a really fun experience because that’s why I go shopping, is for the experience.” 

So, has Christensen succeeded? Only time will tell, but a steady stream of customers is a surefire sign she’s already well down the road to success.

“I want (shoppers) to all feel welcomed and included when they walk through the door,” Christensen continued. “Everybody deserves to find something in stores, whether it’s your age, your body size, anything — I just want you to feel comfortable when you’re in here. I’m always willing to help. I just want everyone to have a fun experience when they’re shopping in my store.”

Be Still Boutique

Store hours

  • Monday: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Tuesday through Friday: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Saturday: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Sunday: Closed.

Store contact information

— Contact Mondell Keck at [email protected].