Lizzi Weasler did “pop-up” retail events around town before opening her Third Ward boutique.
The ever-growing retail scene in the city’s Third Ward offered a new entry last week with the opening of Lizzibeth LLC, a uniquely flexible boutique. Owner Lizzi Weasler has gradually prepared for this, since graduating from Marquette University in 2011. She worked for Teen Vogue and J. Crew Inc. in New York City before spending 18 months in Milwaukee doing retail oriented “pop-up” events at stores, restaurants and people’s homes..
Weasler started her Lizzibeth as an online store in February 2013 and began selling her merchandise in temporary locations around the city shortly thereafter. “I wanted to do pop up shops because I did not have a brick and mortar location and it lowered the startup costs – and if my startup costs were low then price point for my clients would also be low,” she notes. “It was a win-win for me to (check) out the market and see what my demographic was, what people in Milwaukee want to buy and what price points they wanted to buy at.”
The pop-up approach Weasler used to establish her new space, located at 550 E. Menomonee St., has shaped the way the boutique operates today. The hours change weekly to accommodate personalized shopping events which range from bridal showers to book clubs and are posted every Monday on the boutique’s Twitter and Facebook pages. Weasler has also set up access to an email list on her website so that shoppers can receive updates on the hour.
“I can still pop up in bars, restaurants, homes, wherever,” says Weasler, “and then my space is not just a boutique – it’s also an event space which can be rented out. It is a little over 1,000 sq. feet and there is a full kitchen in the back, which is also great for catered events. My business is focused on the customer – if they want something, then I’ll make it work for them.”
Weasler has created the “Lizzibeth Tassel Project,’ which donates 15 percent of profits from each necklace sold to charity. New organizations are nominated by a customer each month, and this month proceeds are going to Notre Dame Middle School.
“I wanted to start incorporating some more made in Milwaukee and made in the USA products – and then I figured out how to make these tassel necklaces, she says. “I wanted to find a way to integrate my business plan with the volunteer work I do with nonprofit organizations through this local product idea.”
For Weasler, it’s all about creating more connections to customers and the community.