Tweaks to the Boutiques

Two familiar stores get new owners and a fresh perspective on making women's fashion accessible

il Vostro Boutique

Wayzata native Katie Egan was living the fashionista’s dream in New York, working her way up from assistant at fashion brand Ports 1961 to the buying program at Lord & Taylor. Then her parents found a way to lure the 27-year-old back.

“I always wanted to own my store,” Egan says. “I just didn’t know it would be so soon.” But the idea of buying a stocked boutique that already had a customer base she could begin selling to—and learning from—the very next day was irresistible to Egan.

She took over il Vostro from Stacey Finnegan last July, and she has spent the months since getting to know her customers and tweaking the store’s look. Now you’ll find less lace and ruffle, and more modern daytime dresses and twists on tailored pieces, such as the slouchy tuxedo jacket. “My customers are young moms who want to look hip,” Egan says. “They’re sexy, trendy, and they like to take risks.”

Egan continues to carry customer favorites BB Dakota, Three Dots, and Hazel, with most pieces priced less than $300. But she’s also seeking out under-the-radar lines such as Rachel Antonoff and Denmark-based Gestuz. Anything to get the soccer moms out of their T-shirts and jeans. 5045 France Ave. S., Mpls., 612-920-3167,

Corset Boutique

A sales and marketing executive by day, Jodi Mayers was a shopping advisor to friends on weekends. So when Hopkins’ Corset Boutique went up for sale, Mayers, a regular customer, decided it was time to make a career of helping women get dressed.

Favorite lines such as Tribal and Conrad C are still on the racks, and Mayers is bringing in more European and Canadian collections at accessible price points—think $150 for a complete outfit. She’s intent on offering something for everyone, so looks run from casual to professional to night on the town, in sizes 0 to 20.

“We not only cater to a lot of different sizes, but ages, too,” Mayers says. “I want daughters and moms to shop together and both find something.”

Corset built its reputation on offering styling services, so in the fall, Mayers will re-launch the styling membership program. Participants pay a monthly fee to have complete outfits sent to them.

“I want to be a fashion concierge for clients,” Mayers says. “Whatever their need is, they can call us. If we don’t have something in stock, I’ll go out and find it.” Now that’s service. 715 Mainstreet, Hopkins, 952-224-2495,