Ever since she was a kid watching her mom work at her friend’s kids clothing store, running her own business has been Jenifer Holmquist’s lifelong dream.
Still, it’s a dream she never really thought would become a reality.
But now that she’s seeing great success with her children’s clothing store, Coco & Charlie's in Lakeside Hills Plaza, Holmquist said she knows she made the right decision to take a chance – even in the heart of the pandemic.
“(Running her own children’s clothing store) has always been in the back of my mind as something I would love to do with my life,” she said. “I named the store for my daughters, Chloe and Charlotte. They are my ‘why,’ and I want to show them that they are capable of doing anything they want in life.”
Despite the pandemic and the closure of 168th Street, Holmquist said business has been doing pretty well. She just recently opened her online shop, and sales are picking up there as well.
She already has regular customers, and said she’s glad she opened when she did despite the world’s circumstances last year.
“I feel that people are wanting to get out of the house now that there is a vaccine and hope that COVID is under control,” she said. “For those that are still leery of getting out of the house, I offer an event where they can invite a group of 10 people into the shop for a private shopping experience. That has been a lot of fun.”
Holmquist added that Coco & Charlie’s offers a selection for everyone – from infants up to pre-teen sizes for boys and girls.
“With tween stores like Justice closing, I knew that there was a market in Omaha for tween sizing,” she said. “Kids don't all want to wear athletic gear, but they want something cool and comfy. I always have prices in mind.
“If I wouldn't spend an amount on something for my own kid, I'm not going to put it in my store. I try to also support other women-owned small businesses and have already built great relationships with brand designers.”