MARSHALL - Monica Talamantes has always been a "purse person," she said.
Her mother and sister were the same way.
"If we found a cute purse, we would share it," she said.
Photo by Cindy Votruba
Monica Talamantes started a purse business last year called Pretty and Plump Purses. She recently moved into a storefront on the corner of 3rd and Lyon streets in Marshall.
So she decided to start a business, Pretty and Plump Purses, to fill her passion for cute handbags. She would bring her purses to craft fairs and expos throughout the area.
Then she found a new home for her inventory.
Talamantes moved Pretty and Plump Purses into her new location at the corner of 3rd Street and Lyon Street on Sept. 1.
About a year ago, Talamantes said she started Pretty and Plump Purses. She did a little investigating on how to get into such a business, but one she looked into required a commitment to sell a certain amount a month.
"I decided to go on my own," Talamantes said. She said her family helped her come up with the name.
Talamantes got the supplies and then got on the phone to area chamber of commerces to see which communities had a craft fair, an expo or some event where she could set up Pretty and Plump Purses.
She said the first order she placed was just for six purses, which were quickly bought by her family members.
Once she started at doing shows, she said, she'd become friendly with other vendors to learn about other shows.
"At first it was a fun hobby because I did daycare for so many years," Talamantes said. "It was nice to get away on the weekends and see other people other than being with children all the time."
During the past year, Talamantes was gone almost every weekend with Pretty and Plump Purses. She's been to expos and shows in Balaton, Tracy, Olivia, and Redwood Falls as well as other towns. The furthest she's traveled is Watertown, S.D.
During Marshall's Crazy Days sale, Talamantes was set up by the Landmark Bistro.
She said somebody walked up and said they liked her stuff and suggested moving into the location on 3rd and Lyon. She said her home was already getting invaded by purses.
"I was able to lease the building," she said. She already had all the inventory in a little trailer of hers, so all she had to do was paint the walls and set everything up.
Talamantes also does daycare in her home, something she's done for almost 12 years. Pretty and Plump Purses is open Thursday through Sunday.
When she finishes daycare on Thursday and Friday afternoon, Talamantes quickly gets to her store. Her niece also helps out at the store.
"It definitely was an adjustment to my family," Talamantes said.
In the time she's had Pretty and Plump Purses, Talamentes said it's been going well. She said it's been her dream to open her boutique. She also has jewelry, hair accessories and clothing available at her store.
Talamantes said that most everybody tells her that her purses are different and that she has good taste. She also offers reasonable prices, she added.
"In this economy, nobody wants to be overpaying (for a purse)," she said.
And Talamantes offers one-of-a-kind handbags.
"I don't order the same purse twice," she said.
Although she has a permanent location, Talamantes still goes to the shows and expos around the area.
"I've already committed to shows at least through December," she said.