Merilou Boutique’s chic interior and curated wares give the impression that it took years of careful planning for the shop to come together. In fact, it opened last fall on Wayzata’s bustling Lake Street just three months after owner Keaton Frees conceived of the idea.
Although Frees boasts interior-design experience and catered to women’s tastes for years selling Stella & Dot jewelry (an accessories business run akin to the Mary Kay model), this is her first foray into fashion. Even with a short timeline, Frees and her business partner, financial planner Chrissie Boyd, have assembled a sophisticated, cohesive collection of contemporary pieces. The clothes showcase trends without sacrificing their timeless appeal (premium denim, chunky sweaters, leather riding boots), and the inventory has an understated glamour.
“It’s stylish without being intimidating,” explains Frees, who insists that the clothes in her store must be versatile and easy to wear—an ethos exemplified by her favorite pieces in the shop, which include a line of Maison Scotch sweatshirts embellished with zippers and jewels.
Frees’ background in décor is obvious throughout the store, which possesses the same aesthetic of quiet boldness as its merchandise. Gray wood-grain tiles, whitewashed built-ins, and framed quotes from fashion gurus ranging from Harry Winston to Carrie Bradshaw provide a simple backdrop to let the clothes shine. But a feature wall of silvery birch-tree–covered wallpaper and a wrought-iron chandelier dripping with jewels give the glamorous touches the shop embodies.
726 E. Lake St., Wayzata