By Paige Kieffer
Excelsior’s hit women’s boutique Ooh La La celebrated its 20-year anniversary June 15.
Over the years, Ooh La La has grown into a popular store at 274 Water St., featuring a wide range of fashionable jewelry, apparel, local goods and gifts.
“It feels great to be in business for 20 years and I loved every day changing and growing and I hope new things will come our way,” said Ooh La La owner Connie Frederick. “It’s great and it’s been a fun ride!”
Frederick moved to Excelsior 30 years ago from St. Paul.
“Excelsior is a city I love for so many reasons,” said Frederick. “The charm, people, beauty, history, events, the lake and businesses. I found Excelsior 30 years ago when I moved to Minnesota. I stood looking out over Lake Minnetonka and knew it was where I wanted to live and start a business. I love where I live and couldn’t be happier to do business here over the last 20 years.”
Frederick began her business by creating gift baskets for parties, corporate events and gifts. She said that more and more women began to request apparel, handbags and accessories with their gift basket.
“I was doing gifts baskets when I saw that women weren’t finding the right apparel with the right fits or what they wanted, so I researched and found a little place off of Second Street where we started,” she said.
Slowly, Frederick began to transition her business into a boutique and eventually changed the name to Ooh La La. She still does gift baskets from time to time.
“I don’t have a fashion background, but I have a huge interest in it,” Frederick said. “I love helping women. They come in all the time and say they love coming to Ooh La La because I can look at them and tell them what they need to wear. Everyone who works here is just as talented at picking things out.”
The store focuses on providing affordable clothing for all body shapes, local merchandise featuring schools and cities and mostly U.S.-made items and local jewelry. The shop stocks trends for teens to older women in sizes small to XXL.
Frederick says she always keep on top of the hottest trends on the market and gets assistance from her daughter, Tana Denarvaez, on younger women’s trends.
Ooh La La has also made a name for itself through its custom-decorated rhinestone apparel. Schools and teams from all over the country, including the St. Louis Cardinals, order custom rhinestone logo apparel. The store also features custom clothing featuring the Minnetonka High School Skippers and the Minnesota Wild and Vikings.
Frederick says that Ooh La La has built a huge amount of back stock so customers will always find what they need.
“The boutique has changed a lot,” she said. “People come in all the time and say how much more apparel we have. We really stocked with anything you may need from tanks, to pants, to skirts to dresses.”
Looking back on the past 20 years, Frederick said that it was all possible because of the customers and she hopes the shop will continue to grow and assist women with their fashion needs.
“I really wanted to thank all our wonderful customers that have supported us all these years,” she said. “So much love and gratitude and thank yous to everyone. We truly wouldn’t be here with out all our wonderful customers.”
Ooh La La will be at the State Fair this summer to feature the latest summer and fall trends at a boutique exhibit on the second floor of the Grand Stand.
Frederick has also brought her passion for the community by founding Girls’ Night Out, which is now Thursday Night Out. She’s also involved with the Excelsior-Lake Minnetonka Chamber of Commerce and has led several committees, raised money for countless organizations and is always active in town events.
To celebrate, Ooh La La will host a 20th Anniversary party 5-9 p.m., Thursday, June 15 at the store. Customers are encouraged to wear their favorite Ooh La La outfit, will get 20 percent off their purchase and can register for gift card giveaways. Appetizers and beverages will be served.
For more information, visit oohlalafashion.com.