7 Women-Owned Boutiques: Minneapolis' Female Fashion Goal Diggers

These are the local women shaping the fashion industry and challenging male domination of executive positions

Minnesota got a wakeup call a few weeks ago, as new women-led designer-clothing brand Alice Riot joined the Twin Cities fashion community. Co-founders Kelly Groehler and Kate Iverson formed a happenstance bond that led to the launch of their art-inspired brand. Consisting of only a few pieces, the collection promotes female empowerment in the fashion industry—because while women predominate fashion communities all over the world, high-ranking positions in the industry are typically held by men, according to Fortune magazine’s annual Fortune 500 List. Clothing lines such as Alice Riot are helping to change that. After all, shouldn’t fashion be run by the people who represent it? Both Groehler and Iverson have incorporated feminist aspects into their collection, and they used the talents of high-ranking Minneapolis business women to model each look. (Read our style editor Jahna Peloquin’s article about them here.)

Alice Riot is one of a handful of brands in the Twin Cities that are completely woman-run. Bigger brands in Minneapolis, such as Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom, Forever 21, Gap, and H&M, continue to be male-dominated in high corporate positions, but there are many popular, independent, female-owned boutiques and online clothing brands thriving in both downtown and uptown Minneapolis. 

alice riot/photo by sarah white

1. Queen Anna House of Fashion

A couture platform inspired by relevant trends and textiles, this boutique focuses on giving back to the community and nonprofit organizations. Entrepreneur Nicole Jennings opened Queen Anna in memory of her grandmother, selling everything from clothes and sandals to scarves and bags, all at attainable prices. Jennings prides herself on the affordability of her store because she wants a wide range of women to be able to shop her products. Queen Anna embraces womanhood, so part of the store’s profits get donated to charities that support women, such as Tubman, a complex that houses women of domestic violence.

Queen Anna/photo by Jahna Peloquin

photo courtesy of queen anna house of fashion

2. Statement Boutique

Statement Boutique founder Molly Blanski took Stacey Johnson’s jewelry studio off her hands and transformed the space into an urban-chic clothing store. The boutique embraces local talent and strives to sell “approachable fashion” for women, designed by some of the best female creativists in Minneapolis, including those behind Koon Yai Studio and, of course, Stacey Johnson Jewelry

photo courtesy of statement boutique

photo courtesy of statement boutique

3. C’est Chic Boutique

Pam Pappas Stanoch dreamed of opening a boutique that stretched beyond Minnesota’s borders. It came true. Owned entirely by women, C’est Chic Boutique sells fashion products from all over the world. The boutique focuses on clothing designed to provide fashion and Euro-style for all women. Their designers embrace women and design clothes and accessories for all body types. Shawls, scarves, and jewelry in the store come from local female designers. At C’est Chic, they aim to work with women to design a wardrobe, not just an outfit. The goal is to provide women with clothes that make them feel good, so that they look good.

photo courtesy of C’est Chic boutique

4. Parc

Parc clothing upholds its brand’s minimalist aesthetic by accenting women’s bodies in neutral tones—and by highlighting affordability. The store maintains a classy and sophisticated image thanks to “girl boss” Thao Nguyen. Nguyen distinguishes her business by selling only products from independent designers and innovators. Her goal is to sell high-class items while appealing to both younger and more mature female demographics.


photo courtesy of parc

5. Golden Pearl Vintage

Audra Frizzell dropped costume design and immersed herself in vintage attire. Her love for old-school finds led her to open Golden Pearl Vintage. The store embraces both genders, as she sells dated clothing for both men and women—from the 1920s all the way through the 1990s. Frizzell is the ultimate definition of a “boss lady,” as she runs and manages the store herself.

photo courtesy of golden pearl vintage

photo courtesy of golden pearl vintage

6. Gumball Boutique

Ann Meyers is the proud owner of the Gumball Boutique and proud resident of Colombia Heights. The store is a beautifully mixed array of art, clothing, and knick-knacks made by Minneapolis artists. Meyers has taken control of her own fashion career; she has a collection of her own designs that she sells in a separate section of the store. With the help of her sister, she makes dresses in the duo’s design studio located in the back of the boutique. Meyer’s goal is to promote the local talent in the Cities by providing artists and designers a platform to present their work publicly.            

photo courtesy of gumball boutique

photo courtesy of gumball boutique

7. Hazel & Rose

Hazel & Rose is a women’s boutique located on Broadway Street in Minneapolis. Owner Emma Olson started out by focusing her business around wearability. She believes every woman should care about the quality of her clothes, who designed the attire, and if the clothes align with the woman’s natural beauty. Hazel & Rose also aims to sell products that are environmentally friendly, sustainable, and affordable.

hazel & rose/photo by tj turner

photo courtesy of hazel & rose