and Paul Bouchard
Paul and Patrice
Bouchard are no strangers to the fashion industry. Paul’s family
owned retail stores in the Milwaukee area for more than 20 years,
while Patrice spread her style wings working as a personal stylist at
fashionista favs Henri Bendel and Nordstrom in Chicago. Now, the
couple, who toasted 16 years of marriage last month and were most
recently partners in a Chicago boutique, have turned their fashion
focus to their very own backyard.
grew up in Wauwatosa, and we have raised our kids (Jack, 13, and Liv,
9) here, so it made perfect sense to build our business here,"
says Patrice Bouchard. "Our kids go to school a few blocks
away from the store, which makes it much easier for our family."
posh brainchild, Mode, 9125 W. North Ave., is a contemporary women’s
boutique that carries cult brands like AG Jeans, Ella Moss, Eva
Franco, Frye, Hudson, Lucy, Sanctuary, Seven for All Mankind,
Splendid, Susana Monaco and Ugg.
line is your way, your style, your mark," says Bouchard. "We
wanted to be able to grow and not limit ourselves to women’s only.
We want it to be bigger than a boutique, and eventually open more
For now, the
couple is happy to cater to Milwaukee’s fashion-savvy shoppers, just
a few steps from their home — and right next door to their favorite
local java joint, Alterra.
location was vacant for years, and as neighbors of this part of Tosa,
we always hoped something would fill the space," Bouchard says.
"The Alterra customer is our demographic, and there is constant
foot traffic. It helps that we now only have a two block
9125 W. North Ave./ Wauwatosa/(414)810-1137/www.modeyourway.com
Q. You and
your husband, Paul, own and operate Mode together; what makes
the business partnership work?
"He is great behind the scenes. Paul is the one who puts it
all together: site development, vendor negotiations, store
fixtures, promotions and advertising. He is currently working on
our e-commerce site. I’m focused on the
buying, relationships, staff and sales. But don’t worry,
you’ll see Paul once in a while behind the register."
prompted your expansion into the "tweens" market?
"Having a 9-year-old daughter, and the struggle we had to
find age-appropriate clothes that we both agreed on. My
daughter, Liv, has been lots of fun collaborating with on the
buys for the Tweens Corner. It only seems fitting that this new
part of the store is called "Liv’s Corner." We will
be testing a lot of different brands, and trying to keep price
Q. Who are
your favorite designers? What fashions inspire you?
"Michael Kors, Stella McCartney, Susana Monaco and Calvin
Klein. Fashions that inspire me are ones that make you feel good
about yourself — and that’s different for everyone. I
personally love mixing trendy pieces with classic. I love a
great pair of pants or jeans with a classic tall heel, and
something fun and trendy on top. Personally, if I had to pick a
fashion era, it would be the ’70s — an updated ’70s look,
but definitely inspired by the ’70s!"