DE PERE – Ask a former police dispatcher with a fresh bachelor’s degree in psychology and human development ’20) how she found herself opening a boutique in downtown De Pere, and you may not get a straight answer.But that’s OK for Grace Mae Design & Boutique, a new shop that stocks items made by women or from women-owned businesses in the U.S.
“I struggled with not knowing what I wanted to be when I grew up,” Brittany Smith, owner, said. Smith’s journey to opening her boutique on the city’s west side last month didn’t happen in a straight line.The last seven of her 33 years, she worked as a dispatcher for an area police department. At the same time, she was studying psychology at UW-Green Bay. On top of that, she became a mom, not once, but twice – daughters Harper Grace and Isla Mae are now 3 and 2. On the side, she hand-painted decorative signs and made jewelry, which she sold at home parties and on Facebook. But behind it all, the mom, student and dispatcher heard another call: Open a boutique.