After years of working in fashion merchandising for larger corporations, raising three children and commuting to jobs outside her community, Michele Croat-Baggenstoss had a realization: She wanted to work in the community she calls home, help women feel good and create a personal space to reflect her vision of fashion. And so she made her dream happen, opening an upscale women’s clothing shop in downtown Waconia.
cham | bray, which opened in August, carries clothing—including premium denim—for women ages 18 and up. Croat-Baggenstoss describes the shop as “urban-chic, contemporary casual,” adding that she selects her inventory with women at every stage of life in mind, from busy professionals to busy moms. She’s helped everyone from 60-something grandmas to 18-year-olds find the perfect look for a variety of events from date night to daily life. Croat-Baggenstoss’s favorite part of the job is helping shoppers style the perfect outfit so they can take on the world.
As she writes on her website: “We are for the romantic, the lover, the risk taker. The mover, the shaker, the never rester. The star gazer, the daydreamer, the hopeless wanderer. The unwilling to accept anything less than the dream… From the designers we carry to the customers that visit our stores, our entire style community is strong.”