Last week I attended a Spring Fashion Show and Luncheon hosted by a group of small local boutiques. For a small fee of $35, patrons were provided with a lovely lunch, a short presentation of current trends, a fantastic Spring Fashion runway show, a swag bag, and most importantly a donation to a local cause, Advocates of Ozaukee County. The business owners all encompass a small upscale mall consisting of a variety of boutique categories including apparel, jewelry, beauty, footwear, eyewear, sleepwear, home and gift categories, and spa services. This mall really is a one-stop shop in this community for many women.
The event was held at the mall in a restaurant with a private room and I was greeted with prosecco and white wine as I mingled with the other attendees. I sat down at long tables adjacent to the the soon to be runway and enjoyed a pleasant lunch while a few of the business owners shared current trends across beauty, hair, and eyewear categories. It was a great opportunity to hear about spring trends, other than apparel, and was a perfect moment to fill the gap while we ate. After we finished eating the lights dimmed and the show began. Models of various ages walked the runway with spring fashions as the boutiques owners provided commentary on the trends and brands represented.
Many of the key trends they focused on were inclusive across multiple categories:
- Pink across every category from beauty to apparel
- Layering apparel and jewelry
- Flowing silhouettes for comfortable ease
- Navy and denim from footwear to apparel
Aside from the fantastic fashions, what I really loved was seeing the collaboration between the boutique owners. They had clearly put a lot of work in, partnering together, to create cohesive trends and looks that were relevant across every category, giving each business an opportunity to shine. Each owner had provided their own short write up and spoke independently about their product represented in each look. The owner’s passion came through during the presentation and gave them the opportunity to connect and engage with the audience.
Together the owners created a great event that was inclusive to all of their various businesses. This type of event supports not just an individual business but also allows each other to shine in their respective areas of expertise and products. It is an inspiring example of exactly what can be done when businesses work together instead of against each other. None of the retailers would have been able to do this alone with their product mix but instead leveraged their individual business's strengths and partnered together to create a fully realized show. They know their power is greater together than separately and have embraced they idea of cross merchandising and cross marketing. I loved seeing this sense of community come to fruition, and even more so across a group of primarily women’s owned businesses. Bravo to East Town Square, and all of the participants for a wonderful event and job well done!
A special thanks to my fashion partner in crime Kristin Dahlke and her photography skills.
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