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Sycamore boutique offers personal touch

Published: Tuesday, April 2, 2013 5:30 a.m. CST

SYCAMORE – Michelle Gower likes the exclusivity and boutique-like atmosphere of her store, Shop In Style.

Unlike many clothing stores, Shop In Style is open by appointment only. And with roughly 400 square feet of space available, Gower likened the store to being someone’s personal closet.

“It’s kind of like our closet that we’re offering to you,” Gower said. “We like the small, boutique flair.”

The store, which opened in October at 308 W. State St., is owned by two sets of sisters: Gower and Melissa Lovell, and Shelley Rhoades and Christy Cook. Gower described them as being like family through friendship.

“Having two sets of sisters involved, you have four styles, four different opinions,” Gower said. “So it brings a wide variety and a just unique flair that other places don’t offer.”

To emphasize the sister connection, Gower pointed to the initials of the store, SIS, which is prominent in the store’s logo.

Gower said she and her colleagues owned a traveling clothing boutique. Customers would call them and invite them to their home, in which Gower and her colleagues would “turn their house into a boutique.”

“Then the demand got a little overwhelming,” Gower said. “We had so much merchandise. ... And just through God’s timing, everything kind of fell into place.”

The lack of defined store hours is a matter of practicality; all of the store owners work full-time elsewhere. Gower said she is an elementary school teacher in Glen Ellyn. At this point, she said she’s not sure if that will change.

“I know in my heart that I still love teaching,” Gower said. “Everyone else loves their jobs, too. We love that this is kind of like a hobby. It’s something that is fun. We do it when it works out for the community, when ladies want to come and shop.”

Their goal is to have every woman feel good after walking out of the store, and as such, they have clothing and accessories for all shapes and ages, Gower said. She added that it is rare for downtown areas like Sycamore to have clothing boutiques.

“It’s nice because we have so many great restaurants and local things, and they didn’t offer any type of clothing,” Gower said.

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