Worthington native breathes new life into Thompson space
She will hold a grand opening Saturday for her newly opened boutique.
WORTHINGTON — A space formerly used for storage in the Hotel Thompson is now an inclusive women's boutique, thanks to the efforts of a local entrepreneur.
Isis Ceron grew up in Worthington. She has worked a variety of jobs from receptionist to hair stylist and last week began her next adventure: business owner.
Opening a store was an outcropping of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ceron explained.
"It's harder in Worthington to find clothing for curvier women," she said, adding that when stores closed last year, she turned to online shopping to meet her needs — but didn't have much luck finding something that she felt good in.
"Clothes," she said, "shouldn't wear you. You should wear the clothes."
Every woman deserves access to clothing that makes her feel safe, nice and special, Ceron said. So, she opened her own boutique with that goal in mind.
Once she had a plan, Ceron needed a name. When thinking about what describes her, she came up with Midwest Dahlia. She chose "Midwest" because she's lived in the region her whole life., and "Dahlia" because it's the national flower of Mexico and a nod to her Mexican-American heritage.
Midwest Dahlias Boutique is located at 1011 Third Ave., on the southeast side of the Thompson. It offers inclusive sizing from XS through 3X, and a range of options from leisure to formal.
A soft opening over the weekend brought a lot of traffic into the store and helped Ceron learn what else there's demand for that she didn't have on hand.
This Saturday, she will host a grand opening from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with prize giveaways of clothing, wine and accessories throughout the day.
She's also working on a website, which will feature real community members — not made-up models — wearing Midwest Dahlia clothes.
Ceron wants all women to know, "You are beautiful inside and out," so she also posts encouraging and motivational quotes on her business Facebook page to help women feel more confident.
"I want women to feel happy when they leave my store," she said. "I want them to feel comfortable. I want them to feel good about themselves."
As she shops for items from her vendors, Ceron keeps this mantra in mind.
"I never shop for myself," she said. "I always have someone in mind who would look really great wearing it."
To drive home her mission, Ceron commissioned local artist McKenzie Wieneke to paint a mural on the wall featuring women of different ethnicities and body shapes, leaving out facial features so that everyone can put herself into the painting. Above the women are dahlias in several colors. Down the road, Wieneke will add more murals to the walls.
Ceron is excited that her business is part of the effort to restore the former glory of the Hotel Thompson. She happened to see the "for rent" sign in the window while driving by, and it turned out to be the perfect space to get her start. She eventually hopes to expand little by little into a national brand.
Beginning next week, Midwest Dahlias will be open from noon to 6 p.m. Monday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.