SOLON– Fashionista sisters Sondra and Sara Grover met at the University of Dubuque and became good friends. Sara married Sondra’s brother, Casey, and now they live in Solon.
In August they decided to go into business together, putting their passion for fashion on the market.
Their new shop, Le Grove Boutique (206 E. Main St.), is a clothing store with a little more.
In addition to the purses, dresses, coats, sweaters, pants, tops, scarves, skirts, belts and brooches, they carry locally-crafted handmade jewelry (from Jackie Takes-Mosher’s “Inspired By” collection), paintings by local artist Jeff Allen, candles, local wines and wine glasses, and sweet jams (made by Sara).
But with all that, it’s the new styles that get them most excited. Bringing in new clothes is what Sara likes best about her new job. “Getting the inventory, it’s like Christmas every day.”
She likes the decorating, dressing mannequins and arranging the store items. Because the items are priced to move and so unique, Sara warned those who browse Le Grove’s selection, “What we have today, you might not see it again.”
The store has a plus-size clothing line specially-made for curvy women and the Grover sisters (in-law) plan to add baby clothes, local beers and a few other items as they go.
Pricing has been the hardest part for Sara. She wanted to make the store “reasonable and affordable” while the two keep things fresh. She described the turnout as “great” for their opening Friday, Nov. 18.
“We’re social people,” Sara said.
“We want to bring the community in,” Sondra said, pointing to paintings and jewelry by local artists.
One customer suggested hosting trunk shows and the store owners’ faces lit up, “We didn’t think of that!”
“I love your store! Good prices,” Kathy Borowski of Solon told the Le Grove staff. Borowski said she’d be back, “I have a problem with shopping.”
Sondra, who also works as a para-educator at Solon High School, is a Spartan alum. She’s been racing over to the store after school to help set up and fold sweaters.
“You can’t go to the mall and get this,” Sondra said, “It’s different and unique.”
Another shopper snapped up five watches and asked for more, “Aren’t these great?” she beamed.
Sara promised to restock several items in demand.
The store plans to help those men who miss dropped hints in October and November next year. Per her dad’s suggestion, Sondra said during the holiday shopping season the store will have a wish list for men to know what their wives wanted.
The shop has a cozy feel, with a beautiful tin ceiling, arched windows on each side of a sidewalk canopy and unpainted brick walls. Gifts and accessories are casually arranged in different sections of the store and the changing room is in a former bank vault.
Le Grove Boutique is closed on Mondays.