SUPERIOR, Neb. (KSNB) – A longtime store owner calls him this weekend. Carmen Bruening of Carmen’s Style Shoppe in Superior is retiring after nearly five decades.
She worked for the store’s former owner for seven years before becoming its owner and managed to reopen her business two months after the COVID-19 pandemic. Now she’s ready to step back largely because the business remains in the family.
“I have a granddaughter who’s going to take over, so there will always be a Carmen,” Bruening said of the transition. “She’s going to maintain it and I’m going to work for her, which for the first time in 48 years I’ll be a paid employee.”
Bruening’s granddaughter, Kirby Clark, will be the new owner. Bruening will continue to live above the store and help out when needed.
“The only downside to living in the same building as your business is that I don’t have a snow day,” Bruening noted.
Clark’s early days in the business were not on the path to ownership. She started out wanting to just get out of the house – and get away from being a stay-at-home mom.
“I decided, ‘Hey grandma, are you okay if I bring some younger clothes for the younger community and we could kind of partner with that?’ That’s how it all started and I’ve always loved being here, so that’s where we are,” Clark said.
Clark started working at the boutique four years ago and now that ambition has grown from a hobby to a future owner of a family heirloom. Her grandmother was convinced that she was the ideal person.
Clark looks up to his grandmother as a role model is honored to follow in her footsteps.
“It’s absolutely amazing,” Clark said. | She’s been in this business for 55 years, which is unheard of, especially in a small town, and especially a female business owner. It was quite impressive.
“She always rolled with the punches and was innovative when she needed it.”
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