Bruss-Heitner Boutique showcases local artisanal gifts
On March 1, 1997, the Bruss-Heitner Funeral Home in Wells received a new funeral director by the name of Sue Nasinec, who originally hailed from Ellendale. She had been an intern of the funeral home for a year already under Stan Bruss’ watchful eye, and was hired by him and his wife, Kathy.
For the next 11 years, Nasinec gave her time and attention to the funeral home as any funeral director would, and on Jan. 1, 2008, purchased the funeral home from the Bruss’, who happily retired.
It was through those 11 years, and the following nine years, that Nasinec became familiar with the Wells and surrounding area families.
“Throughout the years, as people would come in, I would learn of so many people’s talents in arts, crafts, and other artisanal works,” says Nasinec. “I would run into them and say oh my gosh, you do that? I would purchase items from them for my own family and friends, and they would ask me where I got such cute items and would want more.”
It was there that Nasinec developed the idea to begin a boutique. Her brainchild finally came to light on her 20th anniversary of working at the Bruss-Heitner Funeral Home.
She has had great support from her husband, Nathan, whom she has been married to for 27 years. She also says that her three boys, Brandon (25), Aaron (20), and Cameron (18) all do their best to help out with the boutique and the funeral home. When she is not with families in the funeral home, or getting her boutique ready, she and her family enjoy helping the Wells area Boy Scouts with the multitude of activities that they do.
She opened the Bruss-Heitner Boutique on the first day in March of this past year, and since then, business has been booming.
“I have retailers from all four directions, all homemade or upcycled items are all local or within the United States,” she says.
From candles, soaps, and lotions, to candy, toys, and a plethora of decorative items and artworks, Nasinec’s business and fan base has been growing quickly.
Nasinec says her vendors are very generous with their goods in helping her keep her shelves stocked. She says that for a good majority of her vendors, these hand-crafted items are a means of therapy. Whether its stitching or sewing, welding, sculpting, photography all of her vendors enjoy what they do and enjoy helping Nasinec grow her, and their, businesses.
Nasinec says the greatest thing about her boutique is that these items are one, or maybe two, of a kind.
“If you see something you like, it’s important to remember that these aren’t mass-produced. It is maybe the only one like it,” she says. And for those who have interest in the items but may not have their cash on them, she says she will hold an item for 24 hours, if requested.
The Bruss-Heitner Boutique is open every Saturday from 1-4 p.m., and is also open when the funeral home is open. And Nasinec promises, customers do not have to feel uncomfortable about coming in as the boutique, itself, is the first thing upon entering Bruss-Heitner.
“You don’t have to go through a chapel, you don’t have to go through any other part of the funeral home, it’s right in front ready to welcome you,” she says. “I understand that for a lot of people, going to a funeral home only brings up sad feelings, but I want to change that. I want to show that coming to Bruss-Heitner Funeral Home can be a good experience, too.”
She emphasizes that the items in her boutique are locally made by your friends and neighbors. From vintage items, to high-end art, Nasinec has something for everyone be they young, old, male or female, or anywhere in between. And another highlight to these items? They are affordable.
“When you go into a lot of different boutiques, not only do you usually see a tag that says ‘made in wherever,’ but you see the price that goes with that,” says Nasinec. “These items are locally crafted and have a price that can be locally afforded.”
Not only does the boutique give a place for crafter to express their therapeutic artistries, Nasinec says the boutique, itself, is her means of therapy as well.
“When I have a hard day at the office, I come here after hours and arrange the creations and go through inventory, and speak with vendors and customers, it’s my escape from my job as well,” she says.
Nasinec prides herself on being a compassionate and caring funeral director, and is an active board member of the Wells EDA as well; she now can add being a flexible and knowledgeable boutique owner to her list of jobs she does for the Wells community.