by Cassie Bond
What happens when modern design and a fun mix of colors, patterns, and textures come together? You get Mod Podge Boutique, a unique and adorable shop in downtown St. Joseph, Missouri. The store carries a variety of products at multiple price points, especially focusing on women’s wear, accessories, home goods, and baby gifts. Mod Podge is the creation of St. Joseph native Casey Wallerstedt Jones. Jones attended Kansas State University, where she earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Apparel and Textiles. After graduating, she quickly put her new degree to good use by creating purses and other goods.
“I started out creating original designs out of various new and vintage fabrics. I eventually started selling wholesale and retail at various trade shows, including StyleMax in Chicago. Soon after fulfilling multiple orders, I decided to open my own brick-and-mortar store with a design studio, and Mod Podge Boutique was established on October 14, 2007.”
Mod: adj. Fashionably up-to-date, especially in style, design, or dress.
Jones has a good eye for the items that will sell well in her intended market and good relationships with many companies from which she purchases inventory like clothes, jewelry, baby gifts, and more. She finds many of her product lines at markets in Chicago, Las Vegas, and Dallas. Company representatives also visit Mod Podge to pitch their items or email line sheets and ordering platforms, making purchasing the latest and greatest trends easy and efficient.
Podge: adj. An eclectic mix of color, texture, pattern, and unique design.
In addition to carrying unique and trendy items you won’t find anywhere else in town, Jones works hard to make the shopping experience at Mod Podge special. She has had a “shop dog” since the day she opened. “My Golden Retriever, Finley, is my right-hand gal, meeting and greeting with a friendly smile and a paw shake.” Her father, Jim Wallerstedt, also works with her daily, and she credits him with keeping her grounded.
When asked what she loves most about owning her own business, Jones said, “The best part is the reward factor at the end of the day. I love people and enjoy helping each individual feel special and beautiful. Finding the perfect outfit or special gift is uplifting and sends a message of appreciation and gratitude.” Her smart buying sense and great customer service allowed Jones to expand in 2011. She started out in a small corner store downtown, but four years later, she was able to move down the block to a larger storefront with more space for growth and products.
You can visit Mod Podge at 624 Francis St. in St. Jospeh, Monday through Saturday, from 10:30 – 5 p.m. Stop by and be sure to say “hi” to Finley. We bet you’ll love Mod Podge as much as we do!