Fashion-forward boutique, Lou Collective has made its mark in the heart of Denver. It offers clothing, shoes, accessories and small home goods. The shop’s owner, Denver native Taylor Eberhardt, wanted to own a boutique that offered a Mother-Daughter shopping experience. Eberhardt wanted the moms to be able to find something they love, while the daughters find something they can’t live without as well.
Eberhardt worked at a boutique in high school — that’s when she started to adore fashion. She went to The University of Colorado, Boulder, where she earned a degree in business. Eberhardt wanted to pursue her love for fashion as a career, but she wanted a degree that was stable to fall back on. From there she did an internship in New York City and decided she wanted to come back to Denver.
Early in her career, Eberhardt tried retail but she wasn’t happy and wasn’t making enough money either. So, she did a complete career change and went into the oil and gas industry, where she was able to earn more money, “That’s where I think I really found my passion because I was always shopping, shopping too much. I realized what I loved and the designers I loved and started following stylists [on Instagram].” Through shopping, Eberhardt found her passion in the fashion industry. Following stylists on Instagram opened her up to new and up-and-coming brands.
Eberhardt opened her store in June 2021 — but it was a long road before she realized this is what she wanted to do. “People asked me all the time, ‘was this your dream?’ it sounds bad — but no this was not my dream. I think my dream was to be doing something I’m good at and being happy,” she explained. “It was kind of a rocky road because I wasn’t sure — all I knew was I had to quit my job. I didn’t know what I wanted to do — which was scary, but I was lucky to have the help of my parents. They gave me six months to figure it out. I quit my job, but it happened to be three weeks before the pandemic.”
Half of her wanted to move and work in a showroom and the other half wanted to open her own boutique. During the pandemic, she was fortunate enough to experience one of them when she got a job at a boutique. Then, one day, she was listening to a Bethany Frankle podcast and Mark Cuban popped on and explained this time we are living in is the best time to start your own business. “The Mark Cuban Gods are talking to me — it was a sign,” Eberhardt said. She started looking at locations for her shop and found the perfect spot.
Lou Collective started with something simple — people always asked Eberhardt where she got her clothes and accessories, “It was always this place online, always,” she said. She wanted to create a boutique with everything she loves and things you can’t find anywhere else. “This boutique is just me. Everything I love,” Eberhardt said. “I want people to have hair clips. I want them to have fine jewelry, but if you can’t afford fine jewelry — I want you to have fashion jewelry. We carry hats, handbags, shoes — we’ve got these beautiful candles that are shaped like bodies and hands. If I see it and I love it — I want to bring it in.”
Lou Collective caters to a mother-daughter shopping duo. “I want a 22-year-old to come in and be like ‘this store is great’ – but also the mom to think it is great too! I want them both to be able to find something. I’ve found we’ve really hit the mark on that,” Eberhardt said. “Having both [mother and daughter] be able to find makes it a comfortable and fun shopping outing and opens us up to a wider and more diverse group of women.” She wanted the style of the clothing to be for everyone — for every occasion. If someone wants sweatpants then her sweatpants will be easy to turn from a loungewear outfit into a day outfit, “they don’t have to be grungy,” Eberhardt said. Eberhardt wanted to carry clothes with a classic style, but a fresh look — with brands that are not usually sold in the area. She wants everyone to come in and find something they will love, but will also last forever.
Curating a new line for the upcoming season is already locked in with Lou collective. “I am already bought through December right now — I am already looking for Spring,” Eberhardt said. “We listen to our customers a lot and we’ve realized one thing people want — people want dresses. I can’t carry enough of them — there is so much people want in dresses. I’ve been taking feedback and just keeping my eye out.”
Eberhardt loves to find new designers that aren’t sold in the area — through Instagram, mainly Instagram tags. “I follow a lot of influencer stylists and look at their pictures — ‘this is cute, did they tag it.’ This is how I found a spring line that we’re going to carry. I really check to make sure they aren’t carried in the area — I want to carry new brands.”
But it isn’t solely about the clothes — personal styling services offered at a local boutique? That is definitely a step forward in the right direction. Lou Collective also offers personal styling and a loyalty program. The loyalty program requires basic information — when you spend $750 in the store you get $50 in-store credit. Only a few texts and emails a year will go out telling customers about the promotions going on in the store. For the personal styling services — Taylor Eberhardt and her employees enjoy styling anyone for any event. “I know how to pick stuff out for myself and look stylish, but not many people know how to do that. I am more than happy to do that for others and make them feel special,” she said. Her personal styling skills are available at any time — during or after store hours, in-state and even out of state clients.
Taylor Eberhardt has big plans in store for Lou Collective. She is hoping to make a name for herself and have more stores in out-of-state locations. “I would also love to do a small line that I design that we sell in here. More stores and my own line and kind of going from there — building the brand. Skies the limit — I want to be an empire. That’s what I am working towards,” Eberhardt said. “I’d like to thank everyone who has supported us and shopped. Friends and family as well. It’s blown me away the people who have taken time out of their week and day to come in…My family has been such a force and helped me so much, I couldn’t have done it without them.”
All photography by Roxanna Carrasco