Women in Business | 2019

By MARY JANE SKALA Hub Staff Writer KEARNEY — If men only knew. That’s what women tell Doris Geist of Kearney as she fits them for bras at her Dream Fit Boutique at 2218 Central Ave. “They say, ‘This is really hard work. Men do not realize what women are going through.’” To Geist, that hard work is a calling. When she retired a decade ago, Geist believed God was beckoning her to minister to women, so on April 18, 2011, she opened Dream Fit Boutique in downtown Kearney. She also carries girdles, lingerie, bridal shower items and jewelry, but bras are the backbone of her business. “I decided Kearney could use a bra store. I had a hard time finding bras that fit. I’d order them by mail and online, but they wouldn’t fit, and I sent them back. I knew there must be other women who had the same problem,” she said. Naming the business was easy. “The word ‘fit’ speaks for itself. I wanted bras to fit like a dream,” she said. Lured in by a sign Outside her store is a sidewalk sign that says “85 percent of women are wearing the wrong bra.” It brings in customers, she said. “If you don’t need a bra, you may not stop in, but women walk past that and they’ll stop in to see what I have,” she said. According to Geist, women don’t understand bra sizes. Ameri- can bra companies make bras that go up to cup size M or N. Europe- an brands go up to KK, but KK is bigger than M. Among her European brands is Eveden, which is geared toward full-figured women. She offers variety, too, carrying three styles in cup size KK. “Average-sized women can’t find bras that fit, either,” she said. “Stores don’t have the right shape, or the right size, or the bras are small-framed but really busty,” she said. Customers come from all over Nebraska, Colorado and Kansas and beyond. One Canadian cus- tomer has family in Kearney. “Women from all over Google me or call me. They say it’s odd to find a bra store in a smaller town,” Geist said. Second career For 37 years Geist owned her own day care business. But as she grew older, the business changed as the pace of life grew frenzied. “I felt like my ministry was towards children and family, but the last few years were getting harder, and I felt like I should be doing something else,” she said. With no retail experience, Geist learned the trade quickly. She took a bra-fitting class in Colorado and via Skype, took a training course in professional lingerie fitting from a British company. She’s also a member of a linge- rie bra fitting group. “Most of it I just learned by doing, and by treating people as I want to be treated,” she said. “I decided I was supposed to minis- ter to women. “A lot of women these days are wearing so many hats. They’re working, they’re taking care of their families. The last thing they do is come in and take care of themselves. But if they don’t take care of themselves, they can’t take care of their families,” she said. “Often I pray over them while they’re in the dressing room. They need spiritual ministry,” said of female customers. “They need to be loved and taken care of, too, but often, they don’t let other people know. A lot of times, we end up talking about other things besides bras while they’re here.” The perfect bra Fit is crucial to a good bra. It not only feels better, it looks bet- ter, Geist said. “Doctors from Kansas send women here who have neck pain and shoulder pain. A well-fitting bra will take care of some of these Kearney Hub Monday, October 21, 2019 Geist believes bras should fit ‘like a dream’ DREAM FIT BOUTIQUE Dream Fit Boutique is located at 2218 Central Ave. It is open 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon- day through Saturday and closed Sundays. It can be reached at 308-236-5877. “A lot of women wear so many hats.They’re working.They’re taking care of their families.The last thing they do is take care of themselves, but if they don’t take care of themselves, they can’t take care of their families.” — Doris Geist BRA-FITTING PARTY Dream Fit Boutique offers private bra fitting parties in the evenings after the store is closed. Geist and her niece Rebecca Bruce educate women about bras and fittings, then guests take their turns in the fitting room. The hostess is invited to bring food and drinks. “Sometimes, fitting can be an inti- mate thing. Women are nervous, but I want to make them feel comfort- able,” Geist said. “They usually say they can’t believe how much differ- ence a properly fitting bra feels.” Party guests also are shown styles and special colors that may not be carried in the store, but can be ordered. “It’s been fun for us. It’s entertain- ing, but we teach, too,” Geist said. To set up a party, call her at 308- 236-5877. Dream Fit Boutique in downtown Kearney sells up to cup M or N in bra sizes. Store owner, Doris Geist, said most women are wearing the wrong bra size. That is why she fits women for bras and offers a variety of sizes. Doris Geist Erika Pritchard, Kearney Hub Sheer lingerie hangs from a rack at Dream Fit Boutique. Along with bras and lingerie, Dream Fit Boutique owner Doris Geist sells jewelry from her downtown Kearney shop. DREAM FIT, PAGE 4