LAKEVIEW — Lauren Rubbelke knows the pain of boutique sticker shock.
The Southport Corridor and Lincoln Park are overflowing with trendy boutiques, but "you go in and you can't afford anything," Rubbelke said.
Rubbelke, 29, kept that in mind when opening The Colette Collection, a new boutique in Lakeview where everything from jeans to dresses is under $100.
Since Rubbelke opened the shop at 2858 N. Clark St. earlier this month, "everyone's been loving the price point," she said. While the contemporary style is geared toward young professionals, women into their 60s have found something they love, Rubbelke said.
Right now, the shelves are stocked with perfect dresses and crocheted designs for the summer festival season, Rubbelke said. Dresses are usually range from $30-$60.
"People thought they wouldn't be able to afford anything, and they walk out with three dresses," Rubbelke said.
The Lakeview resident studied textile and apparel management at the University of Missouri before moving to Chicago to work at the American Girl Place (she still has the miniature doll version of herself that sat on her desk).
Rubbelke sold some of her own designs on Etsy — mainly sports-themed dresses and charms for Fitbit bracelets. But after eight years, she decided to open her own store.
She knew she wanted to stay in Lakeview, and the long-vacant, former Xcito Women & Mens Apparel storefront was a perfect fit.
Lauren Rubbelke opened The Colette Collection in Lakeview this month. [Provided/The Colette Collection]
The Colette Collection is also hosting special events to buzz up business. Wine Down Wednesdays on April 27 and May 25 will offer drinks and 10 percent off everything. Hem and Hops on May 12 has a similar deal.
And her Southern roots show through in the pieces she chooses for The Colette Collection — which uses her middle name.
"There's Southern flair — it's really bright and colorful," Rubbelke said. "There's lots of pieces that are very boho, but there are classic pieces, too."
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