I love shopping. Those of you who know me are aware of this Courtney-ism. Shopping of any kind is just part of who I am. I love clothes, shoes and bags as much as almost anything (save my family, of course!). I would never pass up a good Target run or grocery store trip, either. But my first love in shopping are the clothes, shoes and bags, oh my! And terms of fashion, its undeniable when you meet someone who is in love with a good trip to Nordstrom as much as you – I knew she loved clothes, shoes and bags as much as me the first time I met Keaton Frees.
Keaton and I met when I got into Stella & Dot about five years ago. She was darling, and always put together and reminded me of, well, myself (although I can more often than not be caught in sweats recently – ugh, baby weight..).
Keaton and her husband, Hans, have run a successful small business called Outdoor Excapes in the Lakes area of Wayzata/Minnetonka for quite some time. Her understanding of business, background in interior design and love of fashion clearly helped plant the seed for her most recent success, a new shopping experience in downtown Wayzata, MERILOU boutique.
On a recent trip to Nashville (we are talking ONLY three months back) Keaton and Hans visited a small clothing boutique, and while walking out Keaton reports thinking, “Someday, I’d like to have a shop like that.” Well, her dream, put into hyper-drive with the addition of business partner Chrissie Boyd, has come true at warp speed.
Today was the Grand Opening of MERILOU boutique and I made my way to Wayzata to check out the newest addition to the main drag. I am happy to report (and not at all surprised, knowing Keaton) that MERILOU is absolutely fabulous! The space, while not too large in scale, offers and intimate shopping experience. The racks are clean and well placed for movement through the space. The product is not overwhelming and completely shoppable – think the POLAR opposite of a bargain basement shopping experience.
When placing oneself in this particular commercial shopping area of Wayzata, concern would be competing with the well established Evereve (formerly Hot Mama). While tracking MERLIOU on facebook I wondered about price points, especially with the posting of a darling Joie bootie which I knew to hold a few hundred-dollar price point. I was very pleasantly surprised to find a variety of high-low price points, as well as an abundance of offerings from designers who are hard to find in person in this area including Nicole Miller – Artelier, Badgley Mischka, Donald Pliner, Three Dots and an awesome selection of Joe’s Jeans! Hang on to your Prairie Undergrounds, Evereve, MERILOU is in town!
My friend Katie picked up two sweaters from Staccato and a t-shirt. One of her sweaters, a loose knit silvery grey number, was less than $30.00, and it was SUPER cute! Overall prices seemed to range from the mid-twenties up to a few hundred dollars. I found the most unique sweater from Freeway, and a top I had not seen before from Free People. I also tried on the softest, high-waisted, black Joe’s legging, but have resisted purchasing bottoms since my pregnancy (I have to wait to shed some Liam lbs before I invest in anymore premium denim).
MERLIOU also offers a small but beautiful selection of evening wear, local artisan cuffs and jewelry, home scents, Cole Haan shoes and boots/booties from a variety of other designers. The shoes and home scents are all held in two pretty open hutches/armoires. beautiful lighting over a large table with sweaters and denim center the space and help traffic flow easily through the store. The use of appropriately trendy decor did not escape Keaton, whose background in design shines in the space. The entire boutique and its offerings are welcoming and totally worth the trip to Wayzata for a little shopping and lunch by the lake!
My recommendation, grab your Marc Jacobs or Tory Burch wallet, you gorgeous fashionista, and run, don’t walk, to check out MERILOU!
Congrats, Keaton and Chrissie. I’ll be sure to see you again soon for more Pretties!
*I was not compensated for or asked to provide a review of or for MERILOU