A ‘boozy’ boutique: Two breast cancer survivors open new clothing store in Chamberlain – Mitchell Republic

CHAMBERLAIN, S.D. — What do you get when you combine two best friends who have shared an incredibly similar journey?

A boozy clothing store named the BFF’S Sip and Shop Boutique.

Rochelle Hopkins and Jen Lauritsen were diagnosed with the same breast cancer, shared the same oncologists and the same surgeons. Only when Lauritsen decided on a specific preschool did she, by sheer happenstance, run into Rochelle, and from then on, they were joined at the hip.

“It was an instant connection,” said Lauritsen, who’s originally from Mitchell. “We’d been through a lot of the same journey.”

Lauritsen credits the idea of BFF’S Sip and Shop Boutique to Hopkins, who she claims has always wanted to open a clothing store. Combined with the fun idea to be able to enjoy a beverage of the shoppers’ choice, BFF’S became a reality.

Theirs is a journey no one wants to travel, yet they have both stayed relatively optimistic in the face of adversity with the hopes of helping others stay positive.

“If I could go back and never have cancer, would I chose that? No, I wouldn’t,” Hopkins said. “It’s the reason I’m the person I am today and the reason I’m right where I should be.”

BFF’S Sip and Shop Boutique is much more than just a little shop for clothes — it’s a community for survivors like Laurtisen and Hopkins.

“The meaning behind the name is actually ‘Beauty, Fashion, Faith, Survivors’,” Lauritsen explained. “We really just wanted to create a community and support system for people who have been through similar experiences to ours.”

The community, in turn, has responded with unconditional support. After their grand opening at the end of May, sales have been up and everything seems to be going rather smoothly.

“The community has been everything,”

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