Mother-daughter boutique opens in Downtown Brookings

By: Sarah McDonald

When walking through downtown Brookings, one may have noticed a fairly new boutique that opened in May 2014. Lou and Louise Boutique offers a variety of products, such as clothes, jewelry and accessories for people of all ages.

Nancy Ahlers and her daughter Brooke had always wanted to open a boutique together, Brooke said. During high school, Brooke worked at a boutique that she enjoyed. Once Brooke graduated from college, Nancy said she wanted to become self-employed again with her own blinds business and decided to add clothes along with it.  This dream store later became the Lou and Louise Boutique.

In the boutique one can find a number of different products. They can find shoes, accessories, purses, jewelry and both women’s and men’s clothing. For women, Lou and Louise Boutique has regular and plus size clothing with a more mature style. The men’s clothing section was just added this fall, according to Brooke.

The name for the boutique was based off of the owners’ middle names. Lou is Nancy’s middle name and Louise is Brooke’s middle name. With Brooke’s grandfather’s name being Louie, most of the kids on Nancy’s side of the family have some variation of the name, whether it be their first or middle name.

When looking for a place to open the boutique, they knew that they wanted to be on Main Street because of large amount of foot traffic and itsa good representation of Brookings. There is a little bit of everything in this area, Brooke said.

Its variety of products is not the only thing that the boutique can offer its customers.

According to Brooke, they are able to specially order items from most of their carried brands. Lou and Louise Boutique does carry extended sizes but it can be hard to keep something for everyone because every person is different.

Since their opening in May, business has been going well.

“We have gotten a lot of support from people in the community and people walking by,” Brooke said, “They all have nice things to say or constructive criticism which is nice to hear what customers want more or less of.”

Along with the boutique, Nancy also sells blinds. They can come to your home and do in-home consultations. Customers can also come to the store to see the samples that they have.

Self employment is not new for Nancy. Her husband used to have an excavating construction business which they sold and then bought a budget blinds franchise in 2005. They sold the budget blinds franchise in the end of 2009. Nancy then decided to go back into the blinds business on her own this year when they opened Lou and Louise Boutique.

Andrea Zavadil, freshman biotechnology major, said when she first came to Brookings this fall she was driving downtown and saw the boutique and decided to stop in.

When she walked into the store she noticed a lot of different products and the jewelry and shoes really caught her eye. She enjoyed the atmosphere and it was a fun place to go.

“I had never been there before,” Zavadil said. “It is a cute boutique and they have something for everyone in there. I would definitely recommend it to others.”