When spring fever hits, ladies like to shed their heavy sweaters and boots for silky floral fabrics and shoes that show off their pedicures. There’s something refreshing and fulfilling about shopping in-store rather than online, and even more satisfying is the personal experience you get from shopping at a locally-owned boutique. Four Sisters Boutique in Rockbrook Village provides a friendly, familiar environment reminiscent of a time when women and their dressmakers were like close friends—and that’s how owner Sarah Spooner intended it to be.
With a natural affinity for fashion at an early age, Sarah always knew she wanted to work in the clothing industry. But it wasn’t until after completing her degree in small business entrepreneurship from UNO that she realized what that would look like. While recovering from surgery and with nothing else to do, she developed a complete business plan for a clothing store, followed by several years of research and traveling to other boutiques around the country. She also drew on generations of experience from her parents and especially her grandparents, who became the inspiration behind the eventual name of the store: Four Sisters Boutique.
Sarah’s great-grandfather, Hyman Osoff, immigrated to the United States from Russia and owned a hardware store in downtown Omaha. His four daughters, whom Sarah said were sophisticated, well-mannered, and impeccably dressed, were referred to locally as “the beautiful Osoff girls,” and whom she named the store after. Jerome and Frances Milder, Sarah’s grandparents, were a strong presence throughout Sarah’s life. Jerome started his own nursing home, Milder Manor in Lincoln, Nebraska, and Frances ran the bridal department at Kilpatrick’s, which later became Younkers.
“A big memory of mine growing up is when my grandmother would take me shopping and then out to lunch,” Sarah said. Pearl Gross, Roselle Pizer, and Evvie Rice complete the four sisters, and to honor each of them, Sarah adorned each dressing room door with their individual photos, and a wall-size, black and white photo of the four of them behind the front desk. “It’s like they’re with me in the store every day, and people love coming in to see their photographs,” she said. Sarah’s parents are also involved in the boutique, with her mom helping do tailoring and her dad consulting on financial matters. “I wanted to prove to them I could do this, and they’re very proud of me,” she added.
As they should be. Open for just two years, and Four Sisters already has 41,000 followers on Instagram. With trendy rompers and casual knit tops, much of the clothing appeals toward high-school and college-aged girls, but they also have stylish sweaters, floral kimonos, and moto pants for moms shopping with their daughters. “I knew I wanted the clothing to be contemporary but also extremely affordable,” Sarah explained. In fact, most items in the store are priced below $70. “I wanted to bring the sweet charm of the South to the Midwest with a classic touch,” she added.
The store takes full advantage of social media, posting items on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, which Sarah and her employees keep up with every day. “Customer service is what I emphasize most, and social media is a big part of that,” she said. It’s also a way to interact with customers both before they come into the store and afterward. “I like asking customers their opinion on items, and I love seeing my employees’ ideas on what to post on social media.”
In addition to clothing, Four Sisters carries gift items such as coffee mugs, S’well water bottles, art prints, as well as jewelry and other accessories. She keeps the store bright, airy, and constantly rearranges items to keep the store looking fresh. “Some mornings I’m here at 6:30am straightening racks and restocking the entire store,” she said. “I love working in the store and being involved out front.”
Sarah is a true local small business success story and said she’s passionate about what she does, the people she works with, and the community she’s in. “Supporting small business is so important. I didn’t go into this to become huge, but to offer something local and affordable for Omaha. Coming here is about that total experience. I want people to come in, be inspired by the pretty things that surround them, and leave happy. By the time people leave Four Sisters, they should have a little taste of the real four sisters: fashionable dames who knew how to walk into a room with confidence.”