Bobbie Fossum has turned her passion into a career.
By COLE BENZ
After pondering the idea for the last five or six years, Fossum opened the doors to her first retail store in Bowman, Urban Obsession.
“Now happened to be the perfect time,” she said.
During the soft opening on Sunday, Oct. 1, the site of the old Dale’s Clothing store was filled wall-to-wall with patrons looking to shop and take their first glimpse at the remodeled Main Street store.
“Fashion is just my thing,” Fossum told the Pioneer. “It’s something I love, something I enjoy to do.”
Though she had been thinking about opening a clothing store for sometime, things really got serious when the former owners of Dale’s put the business up for sale. When that became available she jumped on the chance to own a Main Street storefront.
“I think location is key,” Fossum said.
After partitioning off the south end of the building, the store is almost unrecognizable from what patrons knew of Dale’s. Fossum said that they did much of the work themselves to save cost, and only hired out the jobs when they had to. She said much of the credit for the work goes to her husband, John, and friend Eric Walby.
Trying to envision what she wanted the interior to look like was one of the hardest parts of the project she said. The store has a healthy balance of grays, whites and hardwood to go along with the urban industrial lighting fixtures.
Entering into the retail market, Fossum attended two vendor shows to prepare herself for the merchandising portion of the business. The shows were overwhelming, but said she learned a lot and was able to pick out clothing lines she thought would be popular in Bowman.
Browsing through the clothing racks, customers can find a few different price points, which Fossum did on purpose so that she could expand her target market. Strictly focusing on women’s clothing for now, she has made multiple sizes available, and she plans on ordering more in the future, including curvier cuts.
She also has a variety of young girls clothes and shoes. Moms can find clothes as small as 5T and up to 16. Shoes for little girls are available from 10T to 5 youth.
Navigating through the business end of things has been a new endeavor for her.
“It’s been a learning experience,” she said.
But Fossum has tried to keep things simple, starting with her point of sale system. Instead of the traditional cash register, she’s opted for the growing popular tablet for checking out her customers.
Urban Obsession has limited store hours, for now. To start, they are closed Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday. They are open from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. They will also be open the first Saturday of every month.
“We’ll stick with these hours for a while, and I guess if it gets busy, busy, I’ll gradually add a day during the week,” she said.
Fossum has three employees that work the store with her.
Opening this store, she said that she’s both nervous and excited. She knows it’s a chance she’s taking but was happy to be able to open and offer the clothing options to the community.
“I didn’t think this day would ever come,” Fossum said.
She plans on having an official grand opening in the next month, but didn’t have a definitive date yet.
Their website is still under construction but you can find Urban Obsession on both Facebook and Instagram.