‘Find souvenirs’ at JQ Clothing: Medora retail offers something for everyone – The Dickinson Press

MEDORA, ND — Celebrating her fifth season at Medora, JQ Clothing’s Jessica Quandt is seeing more international traffic, which was brought to a drastic halt two years ago with the coronavirus pandemic shutdowns. Quandt is hoping for a successful season, with future plans to expand the length of its full-time seasonal store.

“…To be in this place is literally, I say this every year, complete joy because everyone is in a good mood,” Quandt said. “They love Medora once they get there; they love being there and it’s just great. The conversations you have and the people you meet, you’ll never find that anywhere. It is one of the most amazing places. It really is.”

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Taylor Roney models an outfit, worn by the Medora JQ Clothing store.

Contributed / JQ Clothing

Owner of JQ Clothing, Quandt opened her first and original business location in 2013 in Oakes, ND. Opening a storefront in Medora has always been an aspiration for Quandt.

“We are traveling to Medora. My family and I ride horses a lot. So we’ve been going there for years and I love this city,” she said. “…For years there was never any retail space available in Medora.”

After encountering a position seeking retail, she quickly jumped on her dream of Medora, signing the lease in early 2018 and preparing her storefront for opening this summer.

“It was a whirlwind couple of months, but I just thought, ‘This is something I want to do.’ And my family was there, so we opened the store on a whim just because it’s a place I love and it was amazing,” she said. this is a tourist community…the locals are amazing.we have a huge contingency of local shoppers.

Isabel Hanson wears an outfit featured at JQ Clothing in Medora, North Dakota.

Contributed / JQ Clothing

When she first opened in Medora five years ago, her store primarily offered small to 3X women’s clothing, as well as Medora and North Dakota products, such as gifts for children and adults.

This year, JQ Clothing has expanded its space. One side of the store displays all items related to children. She added that some vacationing families like to give their kids a special item, and JQ Clothing offers that affordable option. In addition to a children’s section, the store also offers items for men.

“The one thing we’ve always had when families open the doors, kids say, ‘This is a girl’s store. Or, ‘It’s a mom’s store,’” Quandt said, explaining, “…We really wanted to capitalize on that because Medora is like a family place. This gives more choice and variety for children. So there’s a lot of kids’ toys, there’s kids’ clothes, just little fun things for travelling.

Since opening its store in Old West Town, Quandt has faced challenges, especially in 2020.

“The pandemic was a bit scary because we’re still buying all of our inventory in late December, early January because…it’s a bit slower in some of our other stores,” she said. “…So we had literally just ordered all of our freight and started bringing in freight boxes, and then the pandemic hit.”

Like countless other business owners in Medora who rely on summer tourism, this was an “unnerving” time. However, despite the setback, “Medora has had an outstanding year,” she added.

“We saw people from all over the country…trying to get out of cities and where places were closed, they were touring the national park. And so, Theodore Roosevelt National Park was one on their list. And so, we saw a ton of influx; the numbers we had in 2020 – in terms of traffic and dollars – were much better than 2019, which was not what we expected. But it was amazing,” she recalls.

So far this summer, Quandt said they are seeing a significant number of customers. Apart from JQ Clothing, there is a world map where people who travel can indicate where they are from. This year, Quandt noted that she was seeing more international traffic for the first time in two years.

In 2021, Quandt also opened a new location in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota. For her Medora store, she hopes to continue to expand her space to increase her inventory, while considering the possibility of extending her stay in Medora instead of being open only on a seasonal basis.

From left, JQ Clothing sales associates Mari Schmitz, Taylor Roney and owner Jessica Quandt pose for the photo.
From left, JQ Clothing sales associates Mari Schmitz, Taylor Roney and owner Jessica Quandt pose for the photo.

Contributed / JQ Clothing

“Medora is really trying to be more of a year-round city where we host events throughout the year and are there for the locals. So it would be really nice for us to be able to have someone more full-time where we can be open after the peak season,” she noted.

Whether it’s a Sunday cruise from Dickinson or those traveling from afar, Quandt encourages people to experience its retail while on a stopover in Medora.

“There is a little something for everyone. You come with your family, your kids can find something, moms can find something, dads can find something,” she said. “You can find souvenirs that are important to Medora or important to North Dakota.”

JQ Clothing, located at 338 Pacific Ave., is open through Labor Day. For more information, call 701-742-5638 or visit jqclothingco.com.

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