Elizabeth Lance began her professional life in the education field. After finishing her post-graduate work at the University of Cincinnati, she opened Creative Tots Preschool in Madeira where she enjoyed 16 years in business. She eventually sold the business to spend more time with her family.
|Elizabeth Lance, Owner of Leeli + Lou|
After a six year hiatus, Lance decided to start another business. This time though, she wanted to turn her passion for fashion into a profession. “Years of helping friends and friends-of-friends redesign their wardrobes, shopping for them for special events and guiding them through trends, I realized that creating a new boutique is just what I have been longing for,” she explains.
Not only is Lance an educator by trait, but she’s also a mother of three girls who share her love for fashion. Leeli + Lou gets its name from Lance’s daughters. “Leeli” is from combining Elle and Lily. “Lou” is from her daughter Lindsay’s nickname, Lindsay Lou.
On a recent boutique shopping trip to New York City, Lance was inspired to give customers a fun environment where the sales clerks were friendly and helpful. She also wanted a boutique where a wide range of customers could learn about, find, and buy the latest trends without breaking the bank. “Stuffy was something I wanted to stay away from and wanted everyone to feel welcome,” she explains. “That’s when I came up with the idea of Leeli + Lou, a ‘style bar.'”
Lance says she plans to make Leeli + Lou the ultimate source for fashion and shopable style guidance at a guilt-free price point. But what’s a style bar? “The concept was inspired by all the pop-up bars I saw around New York City,” explains Lance. “Everything from cosmetics and jewelry to jean bars. I loved the idea of having a bar in the store where you can hang out and style different jewelry looks or sip on champagne at special events.”
Lance initially looked for a storefront in Clifton as she thought the college campus was lacking in the type of retail she was planning to sell. However, after more research and thought, she decided upon Hyde Park Square. “The stars aligned for me and the space fell into my lap,” Lance says. “It was the perfect location at the perfect time.”
She signed the lease on January 1, 2014 and immediately hit the ground running. Since then, Lance has traveled to New York City, Las Vegas and Los Angeles on buying trips to find unique clothes, bags, jewelry and gifts to stock the store.
Leeli + Lou’s official grand opening was April 12, and according to Lance, the store is already proving to be a huge success. “With the changing economy and everything so fast pace, accessibility allows the buyer to get fashion forward clothing and accessories at a reasonable price point,” she explains. “Leeli + Lou is home to a knowledgeable and friendly staff and a fun environment.”
When shopping at Leeli + Lou, you can purchase clothes for less than $100 and jewelry ranges from $10 to $40. Specialty gift items are priced between $15 and $50. Monogramming is also available for under $50.