I haven’t known Ashley Kilcher long. The owner of the clothing, makeup, and home boutique Roe Wolfe in Minneapolis came as a guest to the HAMMS (Help a Minnesota Maker Succeed) Event this past April, and stopped by my booth. It was funny, because I had been thinking about contacting Roe Wolfe about possibly carrying my work, and there she was, handing me her business card because she wanted my State Icons in her boutique. It’s like she read my mind!
Since that time, my little illustrations have been a smash hit at Roe Wolfe, and through Nov. 1 you can actually find my entire collection—more than 100 State Icons—on the boutique’s gallery wall. Also in that short time, Ashley and I have become not only business partners, but friends. I got much more than I bargained for back in April, and I couldn’t be happier.
Hey Ashley! Tell us about you.
I’m a born and raised Minnesotan, and grew up just outside of the Twin Cities. One of my first jobs in high school was at a hair salon, and I had a manager there who, after work, taught me to cut hair. I went to college for a bit, then decided to go to beauty school. I went to Scot Lewis in Bloomington, and while I was there, I took some makeup workshops from James Ryder. I was invited to his intensive course in Los Angeles, and my love for makeup continued. I worked in a salon for short while after school, and then at MAC Cosmetics. I wanted to get into runway, so I answered an ad for a show. I emailed the lead, asking for an opportunity to assist.
After my husband and I had our first baby, I stayed home and continued to freelance for a few years. Most of my freelance work was in the fashion world, and two years ago, after collaborating with another artist, Roe Wolfe was born. [We opened the shop in Mendota Heights, and it] was a place to center my makeup work and love for fashion.
Tell us about Roe Wolfe.
We moved the boutique from Mendota Heights to Minneapolis this summer, and we’re loving the new location! It’s bigger, and has a brighter feeling. We love having a location where our clients can come in with or without an appointment to check out makeup and clothes. I think we took the best parts of a department store and the best parts of a boutique, and fit them in one place. We are only brick and mortar right now, but we would love to offer an online store in the future.
On the makeup side, we do applications and consultations in-store and on location. We do lots of bridal, corporate, and print work. Roe Wolfe is mostly staffed with makeup artists, and although we have some ladies that can assist, they don’t do full applications yet. Most of the time, if you’re looking to have your makeup done, you’ll be helped by Jacqueline or me. Jacqueline has been with Roe Wolfe from the start, and is an amazing artist.
The other main piece to the store is the clothing. I’ve always been into fashion, and love being able to share that through the store. My favorite brand is the Pendleton Portland Collection. It’s Pendleton’s contemporary brand, and the line is in its third season. The new fall items will be shipping into Roe Wolfe soon.
I’m also in love with the Chicago-based Henry & Belle denim. The jeans feel like butter, and the company gives part of each sale to charity. Roe Wolfe is hosting a Trunk Show with H&B on Aug. 29. Chelsea from zippedblog.com will be there from 4-7pm for a meet & greet and fashion advice. We’re donating 20% of all denim purchases to Make-a-Wish Minnesota.
We love to support local where we can as well. We carry local jewelry designers Via Patina, Larrissa Loden, and Realia by Jen. One great new feature at the store is the large art wall in the back. Every few months we ask an artist to come in and hang their pieces on the wall. [Editor’s note: For the next two months, it’s State Icons by redshoes26 on the wall!]
What’s the best part of being a small business owner?
For me, it’s meeting and networking with other small businesses. It’s so inspiring to hear their stories, as well as their struggles. There are so many great small businesses and brands in Minnesota, and so many are women-owned.
What’s the most challenging?
I think the hardest part is balancing mom-life and work-life. As an entrepreneur, I’m my own boss, but that also means I dedicate loads of time and energy to the store. I’m grateful my girls are proud of the store, and love to come hang out!
And now I have to ask, what are your favorite pair of shoes?
My favorite shoes are my Coclico booties. They have delicious wood soles, and are handmade in Spain. We’ll bring shoes back into Roe Wolfe later this fall, and I can’t wait! We have some cute booties on the way….
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Voltage, now in its eighth installment, is the Midwest’s premier rock and fashion show, put on by MNfashion. It features all local bands and local designers, and it takes place at First Avenue‘s Mainroom.
I’ve been MNfashion’s Art Director for about a year now, and I truly love being involved in this non-profit organization and celebrating my love of fashion. Tickets are on sale as I type. Get yours now before it sells out, as it is known to do!
Voltage is a fresh twist on a traditional runway show, with models walking to the sounds of the crème de la crème of local bands, who also serve as models themselves. In addition to a killer runway and rock show, you can also purchase a stick of the lipstick that The Elixery custom made for Voltage! I’m so excited about this!
CounterCouture with accessories by Objects & Subjects
Idle Child with accessories by Vikse Designs
Lindsey Hopkins with accessories by Artist Built
deLange Designs with accessories by Larissa Loden
Punkktual with accessories by Made by Liz P.
Stephanie Rei with accessories by Karen Morris Milliner
Ellie Hottinger with accessories by Engels by Design
Danielle Everine with accessories by Aprilierre
Bomba de Luz
Sean Anonymous and Dreamcrusher
Aby Wolf: Wolf Lords
You can help support MNfashion’s mission and receive a runway seat to this year’s show by donating $100 here. Once your donation is made, we’ll get in touch with you via email to get you your tickets. Limited quantities are available.
I’m starting a new feature on redshoes news 2.6, called In My Shoes. As a rabid shoe collector, I’ve racked up quite a collection (as anyone who has seen the inside of my closet or has helped me move can attest). Lots of times, my shoes have a “story,” whether it’s where I got them, or a place I wore them, or the history I’ve had with them. Sometimes I just love the way they look and want to talk about them! Yep.
I thought it might be fun to not only show off my shoe collection, but in doing so, let you get to know a little bit more about me as well. In the past, I’ve talked in this blog about redshoes26 design, art, being an entrepreneur, and what shows I’ve got scheduled. But I am my business, so I want you to get to know me a little more, too. So along with the familiar content, I’m adding a bit more. I hope you like the inside peek.
So. My first In My Shoes entry revolves around these snappy leopard-print flats I got while in Austin, Texas, for the Renegade Craft Fair in late November. I went on the trip with my friend Larissa Loden, and we spent a couple extra days in Austin, exploring the city and the food and anything else we could squeeze in.
One day whilst shopping at the most wicked outlet mall I’ve ever been to–on Black Friday, no less (this wasn’t planned, it just happened that way…and it was an incredible, happy accident)–I suggested to Larissa that we go into a shoe store that looked from the outside to be one of those “comfy shoe stores” where typically the shoes may be comfy, but they suuuure aren’t pretty. She’d been looking for a new pair of leopard-print flats to replace some uncomf ones she had, and we’d struck out at a few cool shoe stores so far during the trip. So we thought, what the hell, we have nothing to lose. I spotted (pun intended) some right away, and they were perfect. If you’re anything like Larissa and me, you understand what I mean about the “perfect” leopard print. So much animal print stuff out there is hideous and tacky. I can’t even describe to you what I mean about the “perfect leopard print,” I just know it when I see it. And it’s rare.
Anyway, she tried the shoes on, and we noticed that they were on super sale, thanks to it being Black Friday, so I, being the reckless shoe lover that I am, tossed on a pair on as well. I’d recently been thinking of adding some animal print to my wardrobe because I’m a super solids-and-stripes girl. I have some polka-dots, and some crazy-ass patterned shirts/dresses mixed in, but no animals as of yet. I also don’t normally wear flats, since this girl loves her heels. But once those shoes were on my feet, I realized they were going to start my foray into the wild side (yep, I did it again). Plus, as anyone who’s gone shoe shopping with me knows, if I like a pair of shoes and I put my foot into one of them, they usually go home with me. I know this, so sometimes I just won’t even try a pair on, if I can’t afford them, or don’t “need” them, etc.
I did mention it is an addiction, right?
So, short story long, Larissa and I are shoe twinsies. We’ll have to check with each other whenever we go out to see if the other is going to wear her leopard flats. But it’s a small price to pay to have such a fun shoe in my collection.
They are also perfect for wearing to art shows because they’re flat, and they came from one of those “comfy shoe stores,” remember? So I guess the moral of this story is to never judge a shoe store by its, uh, comfy-shoe-store name, I guess. Because we hit the jackpot with these babies.
Thanks for reading! What’s your goofy addiction? What do you think of animal prints? Do you like my shoes (I won’t be offended if you don’t!)?