Margaret Winckler started her online business, WillowSpring Boutique, during the pandemic.
“I was already doing a lot of shopping for myself online and decided to try starting my own business,” she said.
Now, Winckler also has WillowSpring at 235 W. Sixth St., in Fremont.
How did she come up with the name WillowSpring?
“I was sitting in our backyard, looking at our willow tree, and it was springtime,” she said.
Winckler said she has made it her top priority to help women feel better about themselves.
“One thing I strive for is to include all beautiful sizes,” she said. “I don’t like the term ‘plus sizes.’ I think it has a negative sound. All women are beautiful no matter what size they are, and I want their shopping experience to be an enjoyable one.”
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She notes something else.
“I want them to feel empowered, to stand a little taller when they leave my shop,” she said.
Winckler recalled seeing an old friend from high school come into the boutique who had been struggling with her weight.
“She had been having a hard time finding jeans that fit,” Winckler said. “I carry a brand called Judy Blue. They look like jeans, but they have a lot of stretch to them. They fit her perfectly, and she said to me, ‘This is the first time I tried on a pair of jeans and didn’t end up crying.’”
That customer is now one of the models for WillowSpring’s online boutique, which can be found at willowspringboutique.com.
“She came back sometime later because she needed a dress for her son’s wedding,” Winckler said. “She wanted something that would conceal her upper arms and her legs. I chose for her a long dress with an elastic waist band, loose short sleeves, and a V-neck that drew attention to her beautiful bustline.”
Winckler said exceptional service is her No. 1 priority.
“Everything in my shop is high quality and well researched according to customers’ requests. If there’s something special you’re looking for, just shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I will find what you’re looking for,” she said.
Winckler is sensitive to the fact that many women feel uncomfortable about their appearance.
“I tell them, ‘Be kind to yourself, give yourself some grace.’ I have a plaque in my mobile boutique that reads ‘Talk to yourself like someone you love,’” she said.
Winckler started her mobile boutique in July 2021.
“I take it to craft fairs and sometimes park it in parking lots so employees can come out and do some shopping right there at their workplace,” Winckler said. “Right before Christmas last year, I took it to a fair in Wahoo that was all just boutiques. I also take it to the annual craft fair at Christensen Field.”
Winckler said she is proud to be part of a support network with other women who sell women’s clothing.
“We buy from each other and exchange ideas on how to provide the best service to our customers,” Winckler said.
She’s also proud to be the owner of a small business.
“I believe small businesses are what make a community,” she said.
Born in Yankton, South Dakota, Winckler worked at her parents’ bar and grill, wiping down tables and eventually doing some of the cooking.
“When I was old enough,” she said, “I was also a bartender.”
Winckler now works full time at a clinic in Fremont, where she handles the insurance and medical billing.
“My hours at the boutique are limited,” she said.
WillowSpring Boutique is open 5:30-8:30 p.m., Mondays and Wednesdays; 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Fridays; and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays.
She is also available for private shopping on Tuesday and Thursday evenings.