New women’s clothing shop opens in Presque Isle

1 year ago

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — More than 300 in-person and online shoppers turned out to welcome a new women’s clothing store to the Star City.

Ever Rhode held its grand opening on Feb. 18, sharing the same space as children’s apparel retailer Simon & Estelle at 425 Main St.

The store is one of several new businesses that have opened recently in downtown Presque Isle and joins a group of entrepreneurs bringing positive change to the city’s retail picture. Ever Rhode owner Danielle Atcheson Peterson of Caribou wanted to be a part of the more active downtown.

“I’ve been wanting to open up a clothing boutique for a long time, probably five years or so,” Peterson said.

Ever Rhode opened in December just in time for the Light Parade. Petersen partly self-funded the business and obtained a loan from the Northern Maine Development Commission in Caribou.

Peterson favors products that are manufactured in America to support jobs, which can be challenging for locals to support as those goods are often more expensive than imports, she said.

The name Ever Rhode is a play on her grandmother’s name, Rhoda, and she has also run an Esty shop called RetroRhoda.

Ever Rhode owner Danielle Atcheson Peterson (right) chats with customer Kay-Lee Parker at the store in Presque Isle on Feb. 23. (Paul Bagnall | The Star-Herald)

Customers will find casual and business-casual clothing and accessories, wrapped in a whimsical atmosphere with a vintage record player spinning soft music by greats like Glenn Miller, Bobby Darin and Frank Sinatra.

“Sometimes my kids come to work with me and they help me flip the record, so that’s another good part of owning my own business,” Peterson said. “I’ve never been able to bring my kids to work with me and now I can do that if needed.”

New arrivals come into the store every week with sizes ranging from extra small to 3X. Ever Rhode mixes in different items and doesn’t order large quantities, so everyone isn’t wearing the same thing, she said. 

The store’s signature products are ribbed sweatshirts featuring town names and local high school mascots. The shirts printed are printed locally to support local businesses.

Having worked for boutiques and bridal shops around the area, Petersen learned what clothing styles County locals like. Soft fabrics are important, as well as a mix of neutral and vibrant colors, she said.

Ever Rhode has donated to local fundraisers like Project Graduation for the senior class at Fort Fairfield High School and the Future Business Leaders of America at Presque Isle High School.

“I think I offer a level of customer service that people can appreciate. If someone comes in and they don’t know what style to choose or how to style something, I will help them out,” Peterson said.

Next month, she and Simon & Estelle owner Carli Simon-Cleaves will go to America’s Mart in Atlanta, Georgia, to meet wholesale vendors in-person and check out more brands that are appropriate for their stores. Peterson buys one season ahead for her inventory and will pick up some fall clothing during her trip.

Peterson has noticed as more businesses open in downtown Presque Isle, people are shopping store to store.

Store hours are Wednesday to Friday, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m., with shorter hours on Saturday. Peterson plans to expand hour in the summer. Online orders are available for pickup in the store, along with free delivery in the Presque Isle and Caribou areas.