26-year-old Lizzi Weasler opened her brick and mortar store in the
Historic Third Ward, she wanted it to be much more than an ordinary
retail shop. "I really want it to be a social shopping
experience," says the West Bend native. She offers each customer
a cup of coffee, tea, hot chocolate or apple cider upon entering, a
simple yet thoughtful gesture that immediately puts shoppers at ease.
itself, named Lizzibeth, LLC, is bright and airy — a far cry from
its industrial-inspired neighbors, and its plush seating encourages
guests to sit down and stay awhile. Sparkly baubles and statement
jewelry are displayed throughout the shop, and staple wardrobe pieces
(think cozy knits and shift dresses) line the racks. True to her
Midwestern roots, Weasler is committed to bringing stylish yet
affordable new brands to Milwaukee. "I try to keep quality and
affordability hand in hand," she explains. "Most clothes are
under $100, but still provide the quality you’d expect." The
majority of the jewelry items are priced under $40.
LLC is much more than a retail shop. The space is technically a
live-work unit, so it also includes a fully equipped kitchen and a
spacious bathroom. Weasler allows clients to rent out the entire space
for social functions, including bridal and baby showers, bachelorette
parties and book clubs. Each event doubles as a shopping party, where
attendees can browse and purchase the store’s merchandise. Weasler
is present at every event.
Like many young
entrepreneurs, her story is one of persistence and drive. Weasler
graduated from Marquette University with a degree in civil engineering
but soon realized that computer-driven office life just wasn’t for
her. Her creative interests took her to New York City, where she
balanced three fashion-related jobs, but she was left uninspired. She
relocated to Chicago four months later and took a job in finance and
risk management. "It was still me furthering other people’s
goals and working for someone else’s aspirations, which I didn’t
really like," says Weasler. She began creating a business plan,
and in February 2013, Lizzibeth, LLC was born.
the next year and a half building a following and client base,
juggling an e-commerce shop (shoplizzibeth.com), in-home shopping
parties, and personal styling and shopping services. Then, on Oct. 19
of last year, she opened her namesake store at 550 E. Menomonee St.
"It’s been a dream having an actual location," laughs
Weasler, who adds that lugging merchandise between in-home parties and
pop-up shops was anything but glamorous.
And despite the
company’s clear signs of growth, Lizzibeth, LLC is still a
one-woman-run business, employing the occasional intern or two.
Weasler handles all aspects of the business, from marketing and
finance to buying and event management, but for her, the rewards
always outweigh the challenges. "Seeing something you built
yourself actually succeed and watching other people enjoy it as much
as you do is just incredible," she says.
To learn more or
to contact Weasler, visit shoplizzibeth.com.