“Trendy and classic” is how owner Rachel Lubow describes the selection of women’s clothing at the two locations of her boutique, Jewelius. “We try to incorporate staple basics and fun, fresh styles that can update a wardrobe easily,” said Lubow. After the year we’ve all had, spent mostly indoors, a reminder about how to build up our wardrobe is welcome. Lubow also seeks to provide affordable, on-trend looks for Denver women. “I wanted to create a positive shopping environment with accessible prices and easy, but fashionable styles,” she explained.
An Early Love of Fashion
Fashion has been in Lubow’s life since she was young and she has stayed true to her inner sense of style. “I always had a ‘unique’ sense of style and loved new trends. In hindsight, some were maybe a little questionable, but I always wore what I liked.” This shows through in the product offering at Jewelius – while the store certainly does showcase trends, there are timeless pieces (like layering chains, classic denim and utility jackets) that are staples in any wardrobe.
Jewelius got its name from Lubow’s grandfather, Julius, who was a “lifelong small business owner and a really important part of my life,” she explained. At Jewelius, customers can see her grandfather’s adventurous spirit evoked in the overall style of the boutique – from the trend-forward pieces that offer a sense of playfulness, to the classic, reliable staples. Lubow also prides herself on offering pieces that incorporate the Colorado lifestyle as much as possible. Shoppers can find outfits that transition easily from day to night and pieces that are casual enough to wear in Denver but can be “glammed up” if needed.
Expansion Into Modern Nomad
In May 2020, Lubow began her partnership with Modern Nomad and Jewelius’ second location opened its doors.
When the opportunity presented itself, Lubow and her team were “super excited to join [Modern Nomad]. I’ve always loved the concept of collective spaces, especially for retail. Our first RiNo store in was at Laundry on Lawrence, so it was exciting to essentially come ‘back to our roots,'” she explained. Lubow and Modern Nomad owner, Becky Miller, knew each other from Jewelius’s other location and Lubow has been a fan of the Denver clothing, accessories and homewares store since it opened. “It always seemed like a really empowering space and group of people,” she said.
Many would consider opening a second location during a global pandemic a risk, due to the obvious decline in store traffic and sales, changing restrictions, uncertain buying predictions, increased comfort in shopping online, etc. However, Jewelius’s footprint in Modern Nomad with its wide-open space provides a safe environment for both businesses and shoppers, in Lubow’s opinion.
It wasn’t a “walk in the park,” according to Lubow, “but it hasn’t been easy for any small business owner, I can imagine. The budgeting and planning that so many business owners rely on to make decisions just wasn’t possible. The uncertainty of everything on a daily, weekly, monthly, basis was the most difficult part.”
Though it’s been a challenge, Lubow attributes the success of her second location to the support of the other business owners at Modern Nomad. “We are really loving being part of our collective in RiNo at Modern Nomad – it’s part of a women-owned collective that has nine other businesses in a 6,000 square foot warehouse,” said Lubow. “We love working alongside other ambitious, smart, creative women.” “I’ll be forever grateful for the support I got from the other business owners [at Modern Nomad] through all of this. It might be a little cliche, but a bunch of ambitious women supporting each other can get through just about anything,” she said.
Additionally, she feels that the neighborhood is doing a great job helping businesses through this time. “I think RiNo [has] done a lot to help its businesses thrive in a difficult environment. From street closures to allow for pedestrian traffic to neighborhood involvement in safe, outdoor events, I think the vibe down here was as good as it could have been given the circumstances,” Lubow explained.
Throughout the entire process, Lubow had one mantra: figure it out. More broadly, she explained that she’s “pretty sure that’s what has gotten me through the last decade of running a business.”
Jewelius: Present and Future
Lubow opened the first stand-alone location of Jewelius in LoHi back in 2012 and recently reopened two blocks from the original location, at 2959 Wyandot St. Though there are two brick-and-mortar locations to shop, Lubow explained that the best place to stay up to date on the newest styles is the boutique’s Instagram.
Getting more into the trends and the product offering at Jewelius, Lubow explained that Jewelius typically sells a “mix of both apparel and jewelry.” Over the past year, though, jewelry was surprisingly popular. The boutique used to offer more statement jewelry pieces, but lately, Lubow noted that customers are interested in the more simple pieces.
As far as apparel goes, Lubow’s newest favorite trend is “an easy shoulder pad muscle tank or tee!” No matter what a customer purchases from Jewelius, Lubow wants them to feel confident, comfortable and “like they’ve really nailed the look they were going for.”
When asked where Jewelius will be in five years, Lubow explained that although she is focused on her website and online sales, her heart lies with brick-and-mortar retail. “Most of what I love about the industry is connecting with our customers,” she said.
Lubow went on to explain that her boutique is meant for everyone. “I think that’s what I love so much about offering such a variety of jewelry and accessories; no matter your age, gender or body type, you can always add some jewels.”