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Shop Talk: Kelly Hilgart and Kaela Sullivan
Of Ryloo Boutique and Mini Ryloo


March 2018

Just one year after opening their first store in historic downtown Cedarburg, sisters and Ryloo Boutique co-owners Kelly Hilgart and Kaela Sullivan expanded into kids wear, debuting Mini Ryloo in an adjacent space last fall. Their focus, they say, is to provide customers with high-quality clothing at low prices, while keeping versatility and wearability top of mind. Here the duo talks soft, wearable fabrics, why they chose Cedarburg, who their stores are named after, and more.

Do either of you have a background in retail?

KH: I do. I went to school at Mount Mary University, and then I worked at Express and J. Crew as a manager for years, and then at Carson Pirie Scott in Milwaukee as an assistant buyer. I took some time off after I had kids, and then (my sister and I) talked about opening something in Cedarburg because there’s kind of a need around here.

KS: There weren’t really any boutiques that catered to women of every age.

KH: One of the biggest compliments we always get is how soft every fabric is in the store. That’s what people want — wearable, everyday clothes.

Where did the name “Ryloo” come from?

KS: (Kelly’s) daughter, Rylie, and our grandma, Lou. We merged the two (names) together.


What are some of your most popular items?

KS: Fleece leggings have been huge (during the winter months), and cardigans go really fast.

KH: The price points on some of the accessories are nice too. There are a lot of grab-and-go gifts. We have two (lines of) jeans, Articles of Society and Dear John, which have been huge for us. We only carry those two exclusively in the store. They’re a little pricier, but everyone loves them. They have a lot of comfort and stretch, and are really made for a woman’s body.

What are the biggest fashion trends to watch for this spring?

KH: A lot of color. Colors like gray and black are out. Detailing on sleeves, and bell sleeves too.


 Tell us a bit more about the evolution of Mini Ryloo.

KH: We really wanted to open a second store. We debated opening another Ryloo (Boutique) in a different location, but you cannot beat Cedarburg. The chamber helps you out, 100 percent; they’re all about small business. … There isn’t a lot of boutique kids wear around here, and we really wanted to focus on the older girls — ages 5 to 16. … We wanted to keep it trendy, just like we have at Ryloo (Boutique).

… We were looking at other places to open Mini Ryloo, and then when The Dovecote closed, (the owner) called to see if we’d want the space. We said, “Yes, absolutely! We’ll take it.” It literally happened in three weeks.

What are your favorite places to frequent in Cedarburg?

KH: Birchwood Wells is our number one. Pretty much every table, light fixture and everything else in our store is from Birchwood Wells. Also, Lillies and Bohemia Home Design.

KS: We’re also constantly at The Chocolate Factory and Amy’s (Candy Kitchen).

Visit Ryloo Boutique and Mini Ryloo: N57 W6217 Portland Road, Cedarburg, (262) 204-8524.


This story ran in the March 2018 issue of: