Luci Boutique features fashions
fresh off the runway, but at prices that reflect the owner’s
ties with private labels.
MEQUON - Clai Green wants every woman to feel
like a celebrity. In fact, Green’s two local Luci Boutique
shops feature many fashions that are fresh off runways and
displayed by actual celebrities on awards shows.
“What we really
focus on are the latest trends,” said Green, who recently opened his
second Luci Boutique shop in Mequon’s Shops of East Towne Square,
1505 W. Mequon Road.
boutiques catering to women’s fashions have dotted the marketplace,
Green said he aims to set himself apart from the pack in a number of
ways. Although the store’s apparel line falls under the “trendy”
category, Green said customers should not expect to pay prices only
celebrities can afford.
“We offer items
for under $100, and yet we still offer quality, in terms of what we
have in stock and the customer service we offer,” Green said. “The
price point is what is key to the success of our business.”
Green said most
women’s clothing stores tend to carry between 10 and 15 pieces of a
particular fashion item in stock at any one time. But Luci
Boutique’s philosophy differs, carrying only three to four pieces.
“We offer a
limited selection, and that is intentional,” Green said. “We change
our product on a weekly basis, so if you come in one week and return
another, you might find a number of different pieces. We are
constantly rotating our stock.”
Green said he is
able to offer fresh product at affordable prices because of his
relationships with a number of different private labels.
Green’s foray into
the local marketplace began in 2006 as co-owner of Fred Boutique, a
clothing shop that was located in downtown Milwaukee and, briefly,
in Shorewood. Fred Boutique left the Milwaukee area this summer, but
current owners have a shop in Door County.
When Green decided
to split with his business partner at Fred Boutique a few years
later, he decided to go on his own with Luci Boutique. The company’s
flagship store is at 532 N. Water St., and was located not far from
Fred Boutique’s former location.
When asked if
there was a story behind his shop’s name, Green brought up one of
his favorite TV sitcoms of all time, “I Love Lucy.” While the shop’s
name is spelled differently from the infamous red-headed comedienne,
the boutique’s heart-shaped logo is a clear reflection of Green’s
love for the show.
Mequon store opened just recently and was recognized with a grand
opening gala in mid-September. Visitors had an opportunity to enjoy
light refreshments and meet with personal stylists.
“We had a lot of
customers ask us to open up in (the Mequon) area, so that’s kind of
how it came about,” Green said.
“We looked around,
and we chose Mequon and the mall because of its location, easy
access and close proximity to the freeway,” he said.
Green said he had
clientele hailing from as far as Port Washington visiting the Water
Boutique is a labor of love for Green and an opportunity to make a
living at what he enjoys most, it also serves as a platform to
spotlight a cause near and dear to his heart.
One dollar of each
sale at Luci Boutique’s stores goes toward Fashion Hope, an
organization that aims to curtail - and, hopefully, one day
eradicate - the sex trafficking trade that is commonplace not only
on other sides of the world, but in our own backyard.
“There are a lot
of designers around the country who have donated to this cause,”
Green said. “It’s very important to us here at Luci Boutique.”
Green said he envisions turning Luci Boutique into a franchise. Like
any company, shopkeepers will be given the opportunity to replicate
Luci’s business model at stores throughout the country.
prototype franchised stores are currently being developed in
Davenport, Iowa, and Minneapolis.
“People have been
looking for quality and affordable prices, and I think this could be
just the beginning for Luci Boutique,” Green said.