Wauwatosa boutique offers high fashion at low price points
Element Style's owners strive to create visual experience for customers
If there's something familiar about Element Style boutique, it might be that you've heard the name before.
And not just at the shop's original location in Delafield.
The boutique was named after Carrie Rozek and her husband Chris' other family business - My Element Style. Based in North Lake in Waukesha County, that Element Style features Anthropologie-esque salon accessories like aprons, scissor cases and barbicide jars Chris Rozek designs.
At the other Element Style - the new boutique on Harwood Avenue - Carrie Rozek offers clothing and accessories in a Restoration Hardware-type setting, where factory carts are tables and necklaces dangle from old door knobs affixed to reclaimed barn wood.
"We concentrate so much on the display part, so it's an experience just to come in," Rozek said. "And we fill the store with items that look expensive, but people are shocked at the prices."
Accessories start around $20. Jeans might go for $70, although they look like versions that cost closer to $120 in department stores.
It's a concept Rozek developed while running a home décor boutique for nearly 15 years. When that building was sold, she closed the shop to focus on her husband's business.
But the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design graduate said she missed creating displays and really missed interacting with her customers.
"I wanted to go into something on a daily basis that wasn't trade shows and websites," Rozek said.
So in 2011 she opened the Element Style shop in Delafield. And in October she opened a second location in Wauwatosa.
"There's nothing else like it really in the area," she said of the city. "I just couldn't believe the energy. People walking around and the outdoor cafes. You just feel the community spirit."
So far, that community has been very welcoming.
"Everyone is so friendly," she said. "They stop in and say, 'We're glad you're here.' And they're happy about the price points."
That's important to her.
"Even though the shop looks cool, I want customers to feel like we sell to everybody," she said. "And that you don't have to make a lot of money to come into our store."
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JUST THE FACTS
BUSINESS: Element Style, 1510 Underwood Ave.
OWNERS: Carrie and Chris Rozek
INCORPORATED: November, 2011
TYPE OF BUSINESS: Clothing and accessories boutique
PEARLS OF WISDOM: "Even though the shop looks cool, I want customers to feel like we sell to everybody."
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