Celebrating 30 Years of Making Downriver Beautiful!

Celebrating 30 Years of Making Downriver Beautiful! 

By Bethany Newton

Traffic Jam Boutique has been a prominent fashion stop in the Downriver community for three decades.  From high school girls buying their homecoming and prom dresses to moms buying dresses for their children’s’ weddings, Traffic Jam offers a little bit of everything for everyone.

Traffic Jam opened on November 17th, 1987.  It was opened by owner Maria Dominguez. Her daughter Mikelle Vargas is the store manager and runs the everyday operations.

“My mom always had a vision of owning her own business. She dreamed of having it in a Downtown area on a busy street.  Mom loves fashion and loves to help ladies with their fashion needs. She had always worked in beauty salons and in retail stores and decided to open up her own Boutique,” Vargas said.

Although Dominguez had these plans, she still had to think of striking name for her new shop. Traffic Jam was the one ultimately picked because Dominguez liked to think the store would get so popular, that people would cause a traffic jam just trying to get in!

Now, a few days away from their 30th anniversary, Traffic Jam Boutique has become the place to go, not only for formal dresses, but for unique everyday style as well.

“We cater to more than the Downriver area.  New customers often find us online because of our great selection of formalwear, and they drive two hours one way just to come here,” Vargas said.

Maria and Mikelle believe that when you feel good on the outside, it helps you to feel good on the inside as well, which really sums up the mission and goals of the store. Furthermore, they have become a “one-stop shop” as they supply jewelry, purses, accessories, and shoes to match every outfit.  They can dress you from head to toe!

Outside of running a successful business, Traffic Jam is heavily involved in the community, and they take part in multiple fundraisers throughout the year.

“In addition to our own annual fashion show, we do tons of fashion shows for local schools, organizations and non-profits.  For example, the Flat Rock Soroptimist Group for women host a fashion show fundraiser which raises money for victims of human trafficking and domestic violence,” Vargas said.

Traffic Jam also participates in the Children With Hair Loss organization’s annual charity ball. This Flat Rock-based organization makes and provides wigs made from natural hair for children in need of hair loss replacement. The child recipients fly in from all over the country to attend this glamorous event. They model the beautiful dresses from Traffic Jam Boutique.  “Nothing brings more joy to my heart that watching them walk the runway beaming of confidence!” Vargas said.

Community has always been something that Dominguez and Vargas have been passionate about from the very beginning. Vargas said she is proud to say she was born and raised in Downriver, and Wyandotte specifically has played such an important role in the livelihood of the store.

“Traffic Jam Boutique has been a member of the Wyandotte Business Association for the past 30 years.  I personally was a board member for six years. We take a lot of pride in Wyandotte,” Vargas said. “We believe there is strength in numbers, therefore we belong to many networking organizations such as the WBA, SWCRC, and the Chamber of Allen Park,” Vargas stated.

Downriver is so important to this mother-daughter team that Traffic Jam recently became a sponsor for Discover Downriver. Vargas sees so much potential and value in the community website, that she wants to promote it more and encourage others to do the same.

At the end of the day, although Traffic Jam is a women’s boutique, it’s much more than that.  It’s a friendly atmosphere that you can walk into and feel right at home.  It’s the place where a young girl can go to buy a dress that will make her feel like a princess, even for a night.  It’s the place where four generations of women can go and shop because there’s something for every shape, size and age.  It’s a place that is dedicated to Downriver and helping out wherever and whenever they can.  It’s a place for everyone to feel welcomed!

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