Each month we interview curvy fashion companies and designers. The goal is for you to get to know theses designers and companies as well as find out what inspires them to look their curvy best by adapting trends and timeless classics into their wardrobe. Our Spotlight boutique is Boutique Larrieux.
Owner’s First & Last Name: Lydia Hamilton
Hometown: Milwaukee, WI
Current City/State: Milwaukee, WI
How would you describe your boutique?
Boutique Larrieux is located in the heart of the Historic Third Ward, known as “Milwaukee’s Arts and Fashion District”, an area that offers the city’s most dynamic array of restaurants, spas, theaters, galleries and unique shopping. Our boutique aesthetic has a very minimalist approach, letting the clothes, jewelry and accessories all speak for themselves. The atmosphere is very inviting, and really is more like shopping with a girlfriend that knows all the designers in the shop inside and out. Additionally, we provide personal style assessments, shopping appointments, private parties and workshops.
What made you decide to open a boutique?
Boutique Larrieux was created out of the demand by professional and progressive plus size woman seeking a fashion-fix beyond national chain stores. For many years plus size women have had their closets monopolized by a handful of stores. The fashion forward plus size woman is a savvy shopper; she appreciates designer labels as much if not more than her straight size counterpart. She seeks clothing that is unique, on-trend and high in quality. Boutique Larrieux offers just that.
What’s the most rewarding and challenging thing about being a business owner?
To some degree, I see owning an operating a business as maintaining a garden of sorts. You have to plant the seed, tend to the growth of the produce, and prune to allow for the best harvest. You can’t just let it ‘self-manage’. The most rewarding part of being a business owner – you control everything. The most challenging part of being a business owner – you control everything. It is a huge undertaking; working for yourself is the hardest work you’ll ever do.
What’s the best advice that you’ve ever received regarding your business?
If you do not want to dig into the numbers side of your business, this is the wrong industry for you. Quite often when someone wants to open a boutique, they are enamored with the fun side of the business, such as buying merchandise. And being a woman that appreciates fashion, I do enjoy that part! But I also have to understand that at the end of the day, it is vendor performance that I have to monitor. If I love a designer, and think their styles are fabulous, but they end of on the sale rack at the end of the season – we need to evaluate if that is a line that will continue on with our boutique. You have to be able to see the difference between working IN the business and working ON the business, understanding that it’s something that has to be constantly fine-tuned with research and analytics.
Visit Boutique Larrieux online: