By Agnes Constante
Founder & blogger
Sisters Jessica Fischer and Danielle Fischer Marti had always dreamed of owning a family business in New Ulm’s beautiful downtown area.
But it was never really a serious idea.
“[It was] just something we ‘someday’ said we would do, until our brother unexpectedly passed away,” they said.
After their brother’s passing, the sisters said they spent the following months as a family shopping local shops together and talking more seriously about putting up a shop as a family.
“One morning we met the owner of a local business that was retiring and spent over an hour talking with her about her experience of owning her business. Her space just happened to be coming up for rent and we left inspired and decided that afternoon we were going to stop talking about it and do it. It’s been a tremendous healing project for our whole family and brought our life in an unexpected, but treasured direction,” they said.
The sisters founded Gallery 512 Boutique, which opened its doors in New Ulm in 2013. They went on to open their second location in Mankato in October 2015.
What is the best part about your job?
Danielle: Going to market and buying & creating collections. It’s rewarding to help style a customer and see the pieces we buy come together to fit the unique & individual needs.
Jessica: It’s hard to pick just one – I love all the different aspects that this job gives me from the social aspect of working with the customers & other business owners to the creative side of visual merchandising and social media marketing.
What single factor would you say makes this boutique unique?
Jessica & Danielle: We have a variety of price points but consistency in style. We look for quality wearable fashions that are feminine, classic & on trend no matter what age or budget.
Why should people come to Gallery 512 Boutique?
Jessica & Danielle: Our #1 focus is on customer service and assisting our customers in finding pieces that fit their unique style. We get new merchandise weekly and it turns over quickly so our customers can usually find something new and unexpected since their last visit in.
What was the inspiration behind the name of the business?
Jessica & Danielle: 512 has become a positive memory of our brother. The day he received his letter of acceptance into the Ironworkers 512 Union was one of his proudest days. He talked about his days up in the sky and seeing the beautiful views of Northern MN from a different vantage point, and said that everyone should be so lucky. He followed his dreams and we kept his memory alive for us by using it in our name. What we didn’t anticipate at the time was how many people would think it was our address. (: The Gallery aspect came from that fact when we originally opened we had various arts and other non-clothing items available as well.
What would you be doing if you weren’t working at the boutique?
Danielle: Currently, I maintain a case load as a therapist & a local group practice and would remain in that role.
Jessica: Previously, I worked in the IT Department for Brown County. I only left that position because of opening the store and I would likely still be working there as well as exploring creative work on the side, such as photography.
What do you like best about New Ulm?
Danielle: We have a lot to offer adults & families. We have a plethora of great restaurants, a steakhouse, a coffeehouse, live music and numerous wineries & the second oldest family owned brewery.
Jessica: I love that atmosphere and how everyone supports the local businesses and each other. There is a great love of family here and general town pride. There are always events going on and things to be active in. Our German Festivals are a unique way to celebrate our heritage and who doesn’t like to dress up in dirndls & lederhosen several times a year? (:
What are your 3 favorite hobbies?
Danielle: Eating out at restaurants (I’m kind of a foodie), redoing furniture because I’m always rearranging our home, and gardening.
Jessica: Photography, reading & gardening
Favorite television show?
Danielle: Suits & One Tree Hill
Jessica: Suits (Danielle got me hooked)
Jessica: Minnesota grown sweet corn on the grill or green apples & salt
Danielle: Sushi & what Jess said.
Gallery 512 Boutique is located at:
20 N Minnesota St.
New Ulm, MN 56073