May 30, 2014

The bright purple and chevron pattern outside Lou Lou's adds a fresh and trendy store front to the Westgate Mall in Carroll.

The new fashion boutique out of Atlantic will open Monday at 515 N. Adams St. Store owner Brandi Eckles chose Carroll to give shoppers a place between Des Moines and Omaha, Nebraska, and the Internet to find affordable and contemporary clothing.

"Every time I've driven through Carroll it's been so neat and nice," Eckles said. "All of the buildings are up-to-date and look together, it fits along with the image that I like to portray."

The transition of opening the new store has been easy, she said. The hardest part has been balancing time between home and work.

Eckles has three daughters. The name Lou Lou's comes from the store owner's middle name, Louise. Eckles grandmother, mother, and one of her daughters all have the same middle name.

Lou Lou's offers women's clothing, shoes and accessories. Clothing ranges from fun-patterned dresses and skirts to stylish tops. Plus sizes will be available in the Carroll location at a later date.

Lou Lou's has an online store with different merchandise from the Atlantic and Carroll locations. Shoppers can go online to to see the extra options.

Over the past five years Eckles has done a lot of research on what labels and brands of clothing to purchase to sell in the boutique. She made the decision to sell new clothing opposed to consignment as well.

Boutiques are starting to become more of a trend in the Midwest. Shoppers previously thought the prices were too high or were too intimidated to go in, although this stigma is starting to disappear, she said.

"I love when people come in and don't really know what they want. I can put an outfit together for them that will make them happy," Eckles said.

The store owner has a passion for the clothing industry and would want to be involved in it no matter what. If the success of the boutiques keep up, Eckles plans to open more stores in the future.