Boutique Blowout supports community


Shorewood businesses and village residents attend annual event

Boutique Blowout, hosted in the Atwater cafeteria on February 15, was a one-day clearance sale for a collection of several Milwaukee-area businesses, boutiques and home-goods stores.

“It was women’s clothing and accessories, so a lot of jewelry, scarves, sweaters and winter clothes,” said Jennifer Anderson, an organizer of Boutique Blowout. “There [were] kid’s clothes, some men’s clothes, and we have a number of house ware items.”

The Boutique Blowout event was spread out in the Atwater cafeteria, allowing each vendor to do what they wanted with their assigned space.

Boutique Blowout featured many Shorewood vendors such as: The Workroom, Swanky Seconds, SHOP, Olson House, Min’s and Miss Cupcake.

(Sophie D’Amato) Vendors display their wares during a recent craft fair at held at Atwater School. The event attracts local sellers as well traveling merchants.

Another organizer of the Boutique Blowout is Liz Leblanc, whom is also the owner of participating boutique, SHOP. SHOP has been in business for eight and a half years.

“It was the second year that we [SHOP] were in business, and after the holidays there’s just left-over inventory,” Leblanc said. “I figured that there were other stores that were in the same situation as us, so I just contacted a bunch of local boutique owners and they were all interested in participating and that’s how the first event happened.”

SHOP sells business casual and casual women’s clothing and accessories.

“We try to carry brands that aren’t available at other stores,” Leblanc said. “It’s sort of a reflection of my own personal style, and it’s interesting to look back on the past eight years and see how it’s stayed the same but also evolved.”

This is the eighth year of Boutique Blowout, and Anderson said that the usual count of attendees is around 400.

Two first-time attendees to the Blowout were Lolly Rickun and Shirley Weiner, Shorewood residents.

“We both live in Shorewood, and I saw the sign passing by … and when we saw “Boutique Blowout” we just figured they would have some really good deals,” Rickun said.

In addition to the merchandise sold by the vendors, Boutique Blowout also sold SEED raffle tickets for various prizes.

“I hope that all of the vendors were able to get rid of a lot of their clearance merchandise and I hope that the customers found some things that they really love at a great deal. I also really liked that we have a charity aspect of it,” Leblanc said.

(Sophie D’Amato) Vendors display their wares during a recent craft fair at held at Atwater School. The event attracts local sellers as well traveling merchants.

Boutique Blowout had a door fee, and all of the money from the fee went to the chosen charity of the year.

This year’s charity was the Round Up for Recreation program, which is the recreation department’s program for providing financing for anyone who cannot afford the recreation department’s programs.

“Anybody, regardless of age can participate in the programs regardless of their ability to pay and the Round Up for Recreation department fund helps defray those costs,” Anderson said.

State Representative David Bowen also attended the Blowout.

“I’d never been to the Boutique Blowout before, but it’s a really cool event,” Bowen said. “A lot of vendors and a lot of stakeholders are from around Shorewood and the district, and it’s really cool to come by and support local businesses.”

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