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From purses to apparel: Wagner opens boutique on Worthington's Oxford Street

BETH RICKERS/DAILY GLOBE Classy & Sassy Boutique owner Tanya Wagner (front) is flanked by her family, husband Dan and children Alan, Jasmine and Aaden.

WORTHINGTON — For Mother’s Day this year, Tanya Wagner got the best present she could have imagined from her husband — a set of keys to a building he’d rented on Oxford Street, allowing her to fulfill her dream of opening a local clothing and accessories boutique.

It would take a lot of elbow grease and imagination to turn the former small engine shop into a suitable retail outlet, but now Classy & Sassy Boutique is open at 1517 Oxford St., across from Napa Auto Parts.

“I started out with purses in December 2011, with an eight-foot table of purses, and I’ve expanded from there,” explained Wagner, who formerly operated a home vendor business called Tanya’s Tasteful Totes. “Whatever I made, I put back into it, because I knew someday I wanted to own a store.”

Purses are still part of her inventory, but the Classy & Sassy Boutique is also filled with a large variety of clothing and other accessories.

“My goal is to accommodate everybody,” she said. “Right now, I’ve got stuff for women from juniors to middle-age. I’ve got a few things in extended size clothing, not a lot, but I would say I’ve got sizes from 0 to 21.”

With summer still in full swing, the inventory has a bright, casual vibe, and Wagner anticipates that fall merchandise will start arriving soon. She purposefully timed the store’s opening to fill a need in the community.

“I wanted to be open before school started, so people would be able to shop for back-to-school locally,” she said.

To secure her merchandise, Wagner goes regularly to trade shows, and another one is coming up in August.

“People can always request things, and I’ll do my best to see what I can find for them,” she said. “I actually will have a request box where people can drop their requests in.”

To turn the engine shop into a boutique, Wagner and her husband Dan — who fortunately is in the construction business — have put in a lot of time and effort. It’s been a family effort, she emphasizes.

“It’s been late, late hours,” said Wagner, who is also employed at Sanford Worthington Medical Center. “Seven days a week, it’s been 12:30 or 1 every night.”

Now, the space is decorated in a modern combo of fuchsia, gray and black with dramatic window treatments framing the large picture windows. Wagner credits local home decor expert Deb Grimmius with helping her come up with solutions to some of building’s decorating dilemmas.

“I’ve been posting sneak peeks up on Facebook,” said Wagner about the store and its merchandise, “and I was up to 184 likes within just a couple of days. “I think it’s going to be good for Worthington, because we need something like this.

“Everyone knows me as the Purse Lady,” added Wagner. “Someone on Facebook posted that they’re going to have to come up with a new name for me.”

Now that the boutique’s doors are open, Wagner hopes to hire an employee or two so she can offer the same business hours each day. In the meantime, the hours of operation will vary a little bit to accommodate her own work schedule. Hours will be 1 to 6 p.m. Monday and Wednesday; 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday; 1 to 7 p.m. Friday; and 10 to 3 p.m. Saturday. Wagner also has a selection of clothing available at Glo by Trends in downtown Worthington.

For more information, phone 376-4352.

Daily Globe Features Editor

Beth Rickers can be reached

at 376-7327.

Beth Rickers

Beth Rickers is the veteran in the newspaper staff with 25 years as the Daily Globe's Features Editor. Interests include cooking, traveling and beer tasting and making with her home-brewing husband, Bryan. She writes an Area Voices blog called Lagniappe, which is a Creole term that means "a little something extra." It can be found at  

(507) 376-7327