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Lola Belle adds a new dimension in Uptown Westerville

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By BRET LIEBENDORFER
Published: Wednesday, December 12, 2007 3:46 PM EST

The face of Uptown Westerville continues to change. First there was liquor, then a cigar shop, and now, lingerie with the opening of Lola Belle Boutique.

Michael Taylor, co-owner of the boutique with her cousin Shannon Huffer, said their goal is to offer upscale products that are difficult to find in places like Polaris and Easton, let alone Uptown.

"We carry tasteful and specialty intimate apparel," Taylor said. "We're definitely not Frederick's of Hollywood."

Taylor said each product is hand picked and tested, by wearing and laundering, before it is sold. The most common line is the vintage-styled Marilyn Monroe.

Two areas Taylor said she is especially proud of include offering products in all sizes and providing an intimate atmosphere. The environment is welcoming for men shopping for women, and there has already been a man who was shopping for his own corset.

For those looking for an even more private setting, fitting parties are available after hours.

More than just bras and panties, the shop also sells a variety of bath and body products, evening wear, Juicy Couture accessories, Pashmina scarves, handbags, jewelry, and locally-made candles that turn into massage oil when burned.

"Our products are high end, but we try to price them so they're affordable," Taylor said.

The cousins decided to open a boutique two months ago when both decided they were ready for career changes. Taylor was in graduate school and Huffer was working for her husband's restoration company.

Uptown, Westerville's historic business district and home to the city's Prohibition push in the early 1900s, was chosen over the owners' hometown of Dublin, because of increased foot traffic, the women said.

Located in the former site of Captivating Canines, Taylor said it took 15 days to renovate the building and their opening day was Nov. 17, just in time for the holiday shopping season.

The owners named the boutique after their grandmother Lola who recently passed away and Belle means beautiful in French.

Two weeks later, initial business was better than expected, Taylor said, even though shoppers sometimes expressed surprise over finding lingerie hanging in a window on State Street. Support has also come from their new neighbors.

"Other Uptown merchants were very welcoming," Taylor said. "A lot of people have said businesses like this are a breath of fresh air."

The Lola Belle Boutique is located at 46 N. State St. and open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays. For more information, call 614-865-0722.

"We carry tasteful and specialty intimate apparel. We're definitely not Frederick's of Hollywood."

--Michael Taylor

 

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