The owner of Kenz & Rose opened her shop on Saginaw Street in Downtown Bay City on Dec. 29, with the idea that she wanted to make women feel beautiful, no matter what their size, shape, or age.
When she started, Correa says she planned to open as an online-only business, but her customers quickly changed her mind.
“A lot of my customers wanted to be able to try things on,” she says. “Ninety-eight percent of my customers say they cannot online shop because they have to try on their clothes. That’s the reason I had to open my shop.”
Correa’s goal is to make women of all sizes and all ages feel beautiful in the clothing she stocks inside her boutique.Once she decided to open a business downtown, she says her plans were sidelined by COVID-19, then by a baby, and finally by a move to a new home.
“I wanted to get it started, then COVID hit, then we got pregnant for McKenzie, then we moved, and after we moved, things settled down so I could begin,” she says.
Correa doesn’t have a lot of retail experience. She was a stay-at-home/work-from-home mom for eight years as she handled all the paperwork for her husband’s contracting company. But she was confident she could make the leap from the contracting company employee to boutique owner.
Originally Kenz & Rose was to be an online boutique, but Correa soon discovered women wanted to try on clothes before buying them.“I have a good eye for every age category and size category,” she says, adding that being close to family and knowing not only what fits her mom and grandmother, but her niece helps her understand what to keep in stock.
She offers primarily women’s clothing in what she calls casual basics to “night on the town,” and will eventually have some menswear, too. Correa says she offers not only all types of clothing, but a variety of sizes to fit just about everyone.
“It works well,” she says. “My 15-year-old niece wears my stuff, my 84-year-old grandma (shops here), so there’s something for everyone in my store.”
She says she also recently helped a customer in her early 90s put together a couple of outfits, which was a lot of fun.
Correa also offers an online catalogue, kenzandrose.com, and says she features models in three different body types.
“So, if they are shopping online, they can see like, ‘I’m heavier set like this,’ or ‘I have a bigger butt, and I’m smaller in the bust.’ I use different sized models because everything looks good on a size 2,” she says, but not everyone can relate to that.
Correa says she wasn’t surprised that she could fill a need in the community. Something that she didn’t foresee was the amount of foot traffic she’s enjoying.
The boutique’s name comes from the owner’s daughters.“Even in the winter there’s a lot of foot traffic downtown,” she says. “Now that the days are getting warmer it’s been even more. Downtown has come back to life, and it’s good to see.”
This summer, Correa plans to have sales on the sidewalk, and will be adding a small line of men’s casual and athleisure to her offerings. She says the men’s wear will be limited, but will include reasonably-priced tee-shirts and hoodies, because “men like to shop with their wives.”
Kenz & Rose takes its name from Correa’s two daughters McKenzie and Madison Rose, and opens at 11 a.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Find the store on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/kenzandrose