Kimberly’s Boutique

Sidewalk sales a once-a-year chance for super savings

July 16, 2015 // 0 Comments

By BETH ALTENA Prepare for Christmas (yes, we said it), Halloween, and choose from apparel, jewelry, handbags, scarves, footwear and much, much more at Kimberly’s Boutique in downtown Rockford Thursday, July 16 through Saturday, July 18. Kimberly’s and other merchants are offering once-a-year deals during this summer’s Sidewalk Sales. Owner Kimberly Smith said shop-owners in downtown Rockford are all working hard and have more work to do to prepare for the annual sales. Sales are picking up for many retailers following an improved economy, and Kim, like many other shop owners, believes strongly in the value for shoppers of a brick and mortar presence compared to online or other types of purchasing. “It’s time to retrain your customers about who you are keeping employed,” she said. “The money spent here stays here. It recirculates in your home town.” Besides pride of community and wanting to see a thriving downtown, it is better for customers to shop in real stores as well, preserving a time-honored tradition of having the choice of walk-in places to shop with proprietors who take time to know their customers and take the time to restock with items they learn that their shoppers want and will buy. People who shop here live here and many people work in our downtown district, from the staff at Rockford, our local Chamber of Commerce and our many stores, banks, restaurants and other business establishments. According to Rockford’s City Manager Michael Young, most income for the city comes from business, a theme he often speaks about in working hard to keep downtown healthy. It is money from business more than residential that allows the city to keep up our parks, streets, make improvements to our infrastructure and continually upgrade the standard of quality Rockford is so well known for. Plus it is fun to shop in an actual shop. Right next door to Kimberly’s Boutique is Squire Street Mercantile, also owned by Kimberly. In the back room she showed off boxes and boxes with contents destined for Sidewalk Sales. In addition to the work of putting it all together, Kim notes, “And then you pray for no rain or where will you put it all?” Inside the Mercantile find clothing, including many Rockford and Michigan shirts. […]

Kimberly’s, Brighton offer marching band donation

July 5, 2012 // 0 Comments

Half of bracelet sale goes to school by BETH ALTENA Brighton is a company that does things the old-fashioned way and is always finding creative ways to give back to communities where their items are sold. This July, half of the sale amount of a beautiful red-white-and-blue bracelet with “I heart America” etched on the back will go toward the Rockford High School marching band. Brighton is pitching in $12 of the total purchase price of $48 and Kimberly’s Boutique is donating another $12. “We have 36 bracelets to sell, so the band could potentially receive a check for $864,” said Jane George of Kimberly’s. Staff at the store are excited about the one-month promotion, but owner Kimberly Smith isn’t surprised. She said Brighton is a company with which she is very familiar and such an act of generosity is not out of line. Kimberly’s has carried the Brighton line for over a decade and said the jewelry and handbags are always top of the line in quality and all carry a guarantee. She said the business, based in California, is family owned by Jerry Kohl and his wife, who were high school sweethearts. All items begin with a designer and a detailed sketch, and many are created in wood prior to actual production to make sure all specs are perfect. “The company actually started out over 30 years ago as a hand-tooled men’s belt company and just exploded out into purses, bags and jewelry,” said Smith. “Brighton charms are now becoming one of their biggest categories, with over 400 charms in stock.” She said Kimberly’s is the largest Brighton department in the area, so she is very familiar with the many products. Smith is so well known to Brighton as well that she was among vendors flown out for a personal tour of the facility and enjoyed a dinner out with the couple and some of their staff as well as enjoying a dinner at their own home during the all-expenses-paid visit. “They did that so I could appreciate the quality of their work,” she said. Each piece of Brighton jewelry undergoes a 12-step process from the zinc-based core. The base undergoes a ceramic core tumbling, two copper platings, a nickel plating, two silver […]

Kimberly’s Boutique welcomes new intern

April 26, 2012 // 0 Comments

Kendall McConnohie, 17, is a senior at Rockford High School and is currently an intern at Kimberly’s Boutique in downtown Rockford. This fall, Kendall will be attending Grand Rapids Community College in the honors program and will transfer to Western Michigan University in 2014. She hopes to pursue a career in fashion merchandising. “I love fashion because it’s a way that you can truly express your personality and have fun doing it,” McConnohie said. “Being at Kimberly’s has been such a wonderful opportunity to gain experience in every aspect of the fashion and retail industries. I’m learning a lot.” “We’ve enjoyed Kendall’s positive attitude, winning smile and her eagerness to learn,” said Kim Smith, owner of the boutique. “She has been a real asset to Kimberly’s Boutique and we all wish her success in her next step in the fashion world.”

Rockford businesses partner in anti-bullying campaign

February 2, 2012 // 0 Comments

Call it what you want—it comes down to being nice! During the month of February, Rockford local businesses will be partnering with the Mental Health Foundation of West Michigan (MHF) to spread the message of be nice. within the Rockford community. The be nice. campaign was initiated by the MHF in 2011 to create awareness surrounding the issues of bullying in schools, workplaces, and community-wide. Rockford community member, Kristen Bloem, became aware of the be nice. initiative when she attended an event for the Mental Health Foundation. Bloem states, “Just two simple words, I felt inspired to help and bring this Rockford.” With her help, Rockford businesses are jumping on the be nice. bandwagon by selling be nice. t-shirts, bumper stickers, and wristbands in their stores. First to jump on board are Kimberly’s Boutique and Aunt Candy’s Toy Company.  All proceeds from be nice. merchandise sold by Rockford local businesses will go toward bringing the be nice. Campaign as well as the Live Laugh Love Mental Health Education Program to Rockford schools. Christy Buck, Executive Director, of the MHF started the Live Laugh Love Mental Health Education Program six years ago to combat the overwhelming statistic of high school students becoming victims of suicide in West Michigan. Buck reports that suicide is the second leading cause of death among high school students in Kent County. The Live Laugh Love curriculum is designed to educate adolescents about mental health illness, focusing on the themes of mental health stigma, the effects of bullying, recognizing signs of depression and anxiety, recognizing signs of suicide, and knowing how friends can help friends find help. Over the past six years the MHF has educated over 10,000 adolescents about mental health. In its newest endeavor, the MHF is bringing the community together to increase awareness of treating people with civility community-wide by partnering with Rockford, Grandville, Grand Rapids, and East Grand Rapids to proclaim February 24 as be nice. day. Be nice. is more than just saying “don’t bully,” it is a strengths-based perspective and a positive way to minimize bullying in our schools and communities. It is also a proactive way to encourage kindness among kids, parents, coworkers, and community members. By supporting the be nice. campaign, Rockford local businesses […]


June 30, 2011 // 0 Comments

Driver grateful for Kimberly’s Dear Editor, I wanted to encourage your readers to try the local shops and bring business here to Rockford. I am a Rockford resident and try very hard to give our local businesses an opportunity to get those hard-to-find gifts, etc., but really wanted to sing the praises Kimberly’s. I was going to be competing with my horse in my very first carriage-driving competition and needed a show outfit. I had no idea where I was going to get an appropriate outfit and thought I was going to have to spend huge dollars on custom-made equestrian apparel. On a whim, I stopped in Kimberly’s to look at their scarves and ended up getting a lovely outfit there with the help of an employee I neglected to get the name of. I told her I needed to look like I was a lady heading to church in a buggy, hat, scarf, skirt, etc. What came of my chance drop-in to a local store was praise from the judge at the horse show for our turnout, driving terminology for how my outfit complimented my horse’s harness and cart. So I wanted to thank Kimberly’s and the wonderful woman who helped me, while also encouraging others to give our local shops an opportunity to provide products many wouldn’t think they would have. Kudos to Rockford merchants. Jane Williamson and Sophie the Clydesdale Rockford  

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