Downtown Roundup: Soiree Urban Gifts to close

Soiree Urban Gifts, 421 N. Main St., owner Kia Brey has announced she will close her downtown store in mid-July and consolidate into her Ripon location.

Ouch.

Soiree had a 10-year run downtown and provided a vital piece of the puzzle for bolstering downtown. Kia’s store was chock full of clever, creative, colorful and fun gifts, jewelry, glassware, art and other items. It’s the kind of place where you’d walk in with nothing in mind, but immediately find the perfect gift as well as two or three things for yourself.

The real shame is that Brey survived some of the rougher years of downtown revitalization  only to close now that Main Street’s been rebuilt, the Farmers Market brings thousands downtown each Saturday and the downtown hotel is set to re-open. She was a new retailer that went beyond the consignment model that has become popular in downtown.

Streetwise certainly wishes Kia the best in Ripon, but we hate to see her go.

But Soiree’s closure is only the beginning of a game of musical chairs and changes happening downtown.

Hair by Tamara, presently occupying the back half of Soiree, will be moving  into 317 Market St., the present home of Laurie Marie Photography. Owner Tamara Adelmeyer said the two-chair salon will be re-named Salon La Rousse (“The Redhead Salon”) and will likely open in early- to mid-June once plumbing and renovation work is completed this spring.

At this point, Streetwise has not heard back from Laurie Marie Photography about what the future holds for her photo studio, but it sounds like she will move off Market Street by May.

In a separate game of musical chairs, Art City Signs‘ move out near the Jackson Street-Highway 41 interchange made the space at 428 N. Main St. available for rent … for about three seconds. Fleur Couture has already inked a lease and plans to move up the block from its present location just a few doors down.

And finally, we’ll cap this downtown roundup with one more bit of bad news. We’ve heard EmmaJean’s Boutique, 223 N. Main St., is closing as well, but our messages for Mindy Kuen have not been returned yet.

Update (3:38 p.m. April 18): Mindy responded in an e-mail that EmmaJean’s will close at the end of April, but that she will sell products at the Appleton Farmers Market and at Market Boutique on Main right here in Oshkosh.

About Jeff Bollier

Jeff Bollier is an award-winning public affairs reporter for the Oshkosh Northwestern who covers everything from city hall to business. As Streetwise, Jeff delivers updates on the comings and goings of Oshkosh's retail and business world. Jeff is an avid Instagram and Twitter user and a member of the Northwestern Bacon Team.
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