Started 12 years ago by husband and wife Tamar and Peter Lask, Juniper Boutique began in Oxford, Ohio as an independently owned specialty apparel shop that caters specifically to college and high school-aged customers.
“There was only one other boutique of the type in Oxford at the time and it was not liked,” Peter said. “When we first opened, people were very excited.”
The couple has since opened a second shop near Purdue University and will now be opening another one here in Muncie.
“This will be our third Juniper,” Peter said. “We like Muncie as a town, but we also like Ball State. Ball State students are a large, very diverse group and we like that. We like the more artsy feel of Ball State [compared to Miami of Ohio].”
According to Peter, he and his wife felt that Muncie was an underserved market, especially since many of the local boutiques are either national chains or vintage stores.
“The thing about a national chain is that when you shop there, you are going to see the clothing you’re wearing walking down the street toward you on the street, even in a different city,” Peter said. “When we order something in a size for a store, once it’s sold out, it’s gone forever.”
One of the aspects of Juniper Boutique is its ability to reach a particular audience. When Tamar goes out shopping for the Muncie location, she will think about what the students of Ball State would be interested in purchasing.
As an independent shop, this boutique also has the ability to react quickly to the changes in trends — much faster than many national chains — especially since Tamar goes on Juniper shopping trips frequently throughout the year.
“National chains don’t give you as much flexibility since they dictate what is available for you to wear,” Peter said.
Specializing in clothing, jewelry and accessories, Juniper Boutique will offer Ball State students a unique selection of apparel, from semiprecious stones and fashion jewelry to tops, skirts and dresses.
Seasonally, the store will carry prom, homecoming and formal dresses and accessories for high school and college students alike.
“We have a wide variety of styles of clothing — we don’t try to fit any particular mold,” said Peter.
They also strive to carry affordable apparel for their particular audience. Since most college students do not have very much disposable income, the prices at Juniper will be lower than many other specialty boutiques.
“We’re looking forward to getting the store opened,” Peter said. “It’s going to be a welcomed addition to the Village and to the town in general.”
The Juniper Boutique will be located at 1612 University Ave., in the Village, right next door to The Cup.
They look to hire prospective employees as well and especially look forward to hiring Ball State students since two of their managers are both BSU graduates. Those interested can look for the job openings to be posted on their Facebook page: www.facebook.com/Juniperstyle.