When you leave The Sweet Melange, owner Jessica Cote wants you to look and feel like you've "inspired your style," whether that is through apparel or home décor.
"Our slogan is to empower your style. We always want women to feel beautiful, no matter what," she said. "Whether it's your home or your person, you have to treat it like a temple. We want all our patrons to feel comfortable when they walk out having tried something new, because if they don't try it, they won't know they like it."
The Sweet Melange celebrated their one-year anniversary on November 24, and they have continued to provide the latest in women's and children's fashion to area residents-routinely selling out of their most trendy lines. Additionally, they provide other knick knacks and décor, which are often their hottest ticket items.
"Our nativity scenes, water lanterns and angel tree toppers have been especially popular this year and are all almost sold out," Cote said. "We try and have a little bit of everything for everyone, which is quite a wide variety. It's hard to accomplish that, but we try."
The store's name speaks to the heritage of its owner.
"The Sweet Melange name came from my own personal life," Cote said. "Melange is a word that means a mixture of elements or a medley of things. My family is a medley of things. I'm Hispanic, and my husband is Caucasian. Our kids are a blend of two cultures, two styles. So mélange is perfect for us because this store is also a mélange. I love home décor and fashion, and that's what we specialize in."
The new store blends the charm of an uptown New York boutique with the latest trends in fashion and décor in what Cote calls "affordable, trendy, chic."
"It's always hard to know what people are going to like and want, so sometimes we take a risk with buying merchandise in a trendy style and hope that our customers like it," she said. "We've had customers walk out of here who would have never thought that they would wear a jumpsuit, but that's what makes me happy. We want to inspire women to try something out of the ordinary and new, while keeping with what they like."
Cote chose to set up shop in Dickinson because she felt like the options for "quality over quantity" were limited.
"Sometimes our products can be a little bit higher-end, but at a reasonable price point. We prefer quality over quantity. So if you are looking for something that will last for a long time, you'll find it here," Cote said. "I try to stay on trend. I read blogs, magazines and more because I want to bring that to our community. The community sometimes might not know that they want these things if we don't bring them here."
Patrons are often impressed with the wide selection of quality Christmas items on offer, according to Cote.
"Christmas is an all-year thing for us; I don't think people understand that part," she said. "We always have a fine selection of décor and traditional trees, but we also really enjoy having a few trees that are non-traditional."
Pointing out one of the non-traditional trees offered, Cote explained how her staff will also provide customers with Christmas installations on request.
"This cobalt blue tree is out of the ordinary. It's frosted and has the LED lights with gold and silver garlands and decorations. It's an easy tree because it's basically in three portions, and all you have to do is stack them," she said. "We do Christmas installations for our customers and have gone to customer's homes and set everything up for them."
Cote gave up a profession in nursing to be a mother for her three children, but she never lost touch with her creative side.
"Professionally I'm a nurse, but I haven't practiced for a few years because I stayed home and raised my children for past three and a half years," she said. "During that time I took up crafting and I would make reefs and things like that, did some embroidery for my children, did some shirts and tutus. I'm not somebody that likes to sit around a lot, so in between cleaning and making lunch for my kids, this is what I would do-create."
Cote's creativity is evident in the custom designs, interior decorating and embroidery that she specializes in.
"I love what I do," she said. "I want to inspire our community to shop local before they look elsewhere, and to do that we have to have the best options and creativity available."
The Sweet Melange is located at 22 W Villard St., and can be found on social media via Facebook. For information, call (701) 290-9040.