The Lost Ladies Bring a New Collective to Denver

Three women sharing one dream, Bella Conte, Emily Kaler and Lily Walters founded The Lost Room Collective in September of 2021. The lost ladies began doing pop-up shops around Denver and now have a permanent space bringing all their favorite local artists, vintage clothing and furniture together at The Source Hotel

The three met through the fashion industry and found a friendship through their work. They got their name from friends and customers referring to them as the lost ladies and it stuck like glue, just like Lost Room Collective. 

Kaler moved to Colorado two years ago from a small town in Illinois called Rantoul. She grew up always wanting to be in the fashion industry. She went to college at the University of Illinois and graduated with an arts and design degree. “I started selling clothes when I was still in college,” Kaler said. She followed her heart towards fashion and during the pandemic continued to sell clothing and grow her own business. 

Conte is from Virginia and came to Colorado for college where she attended the University of Colorado Boulder. She majored in psychology and worked as a researcher at the children’s hospital, but left to grow her passion project in fashion. “I always grew up where both of my parents always loved clothing and fashion and art in general,” Conte said. Growing up in a creative space influenced her goals towards selling clothing. 

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Walters is also from Virginia and moved to Colorado when she was eight years old. She went to Colorado State University to study in the medical field but soon realized that is not where she found the most joy. She started an Instagram during the pandemic to share her favorite vintage clothing. “I was posting them on my Instagram and I realized fast fashion isn’t sustainable, isn’t beneficial, so I got passionate about thrifting,” Walters said. Since she loved buying funky vintage pieces, she decided to expand from Instagram and started selling on Depop and Poshmark. 

Finding each other in the fashion community of Denver was very easy for these three. Conte had the idea to open a store, Kaler and Walters had brands, and all their aesthetics meshed very well together. Through the hardship of the pandemic, they came together and found a way to share great vintage clothing at low prices. Their goal is to help people find creativity and express themselves through sustainable fashion. 

“This is the easiest way for us to show who we are as people and it’s so funny because the three of us have such different styles but it has brought us together,” Kaler said. 

Each girl’s style is unique to them and the products they bring into the store. Walters has a very “Y2K, sexy, flirty style” as described by Conte and Kaler. She brings a lot of bright colors and patterns into the store mixed with groovy furniture. Conte introduces “true vintage pieces from the ’60s and ’70s” that she finds at estate sales. Kaler is described as “a mix between Conte and Walters” who bridges the gap between the two fashion eras. Each lost girl brings in a spunky and individualistic style that makes Lost Room Collective come together artistically. 

“We source from anywhere … we are trying to be one of the most sustainable ways of shopping,” Kaler said. 

Some local artists source their garments at Lost Room Collective. One specific artist creates denim that can be taken apart and rearranged to create different looks. There is also a lot of local jewelry, candles, accessories and furniture that can be found at Lost Room Collective. 

Soon, the lost ladies hope to start fashion consultations and work with people more one-on-one to build a style. They also hope to keep bringing in more collectives while encouraging people to shop sustainably.

The lost ladies hold events each month to get involved with the community and collaborate with local artists. They are hosting a coat and blanket drive on November 27 at 7 p.m. with drinks. With a donation of a coat or blanket, customers will receive 10% off their purchase. 

Conte, Kaler and Walters hope to evolve their business and continue to grow to share the best vintage pieces at quality prices.

“We want to have multiple locations with fun coffee shops, but I don’t think there is an end” Kaler said. These three ladies followed their dreams and listened to their hearts and are hoping to create the best community around sustainable fashion here in Denver.  

 

All Photography by Shelby Moeller