Formal wear store owner hopes to address community need

Downtown Brookings’ newest store is a formal wear retail store. Your Special Day sells dresses for an array of events, as well as rents and sells tuxedos and suits.

Co-owners Sheree Heyduk and James Nelson said although business was a little slow when Your Special Day opened March 4, they have since heard many positive remarks from locals who are glad a dress shop is in Brookings.

Heyduk’s aunt and cousin in Florida own the original Your Special Day shop. However, they downsized their store and decided to open a second storefront in Brookings.

“It was something I’d thought about 10 years ago this town needed and finally just kind of acted on it,” Heyduk said.

Nelson and Heyduk said the store was opened somewhat on a whim, but the support they’ve received has shown them it was the right decision.

“It’s scary to open up a business, it really is, with all the unknowns, but I would say if anybody else had an opportunity, or felt like they should, or wanted to, they should,” Nelson said. “And that’s what we did. We just did it.”

Heyduk credits the quick boom in business to a combination of advertising, Facebook posts and word of mouth around town. Although someday she hopes to own her own store, for now she is happy renting in Downtown Brookings.

“The downtown area is very supportive,” Heyduk said.

The store sells wedding dresses, prom dresses, bridesmaid and junior bridesmaid dresses and formal dresses for other events such as pageants or cruises. Your Special Day also has a four-legged business partner, Heyduk’s dog Bella, who comes to work with Heyduk.

Heyduk works a second job overnight at South Dakota State University to support her business as it develops. She hopes to one day work full time at Your Special Day.

Your Special Day partners with area events that call for formal wear, such as Brookings High School’s prom committee. The event promotes her business and she gives a portion of her revenue back to the event.

Inventory at Your Special Day is restocked when Heyduk and Nelson purchase dresses at bridal shows, but Heyduk said she also has catalogs customers can order dresses from. She hopes to acquire more dresses for children’s for events like christenings and father-daughter dances.

Heyduk’s favorite part of her business is seeing customers’ faces light up when they find a gown or tuxedo that fits them.

“That’s the great thing about having this job, is seeing everybody and how happy they are, whether it be a wedding dress, a prom dress, junior bridesmaid dress, or even a tux,” Heyduk said.

Your Special Day is open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.