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New Ludlow Boutique Brings Ladies Fashion to Elm Street

"They were both very graceful, stylish, artistic women, so I was kind of playing around with the names and how they fit together and I like the way Leeta Ruth flowed."

Kim Hoyt just opened her new ladies fashion boutique at 325 Elm Street in Ludlow, and the name, Leeta Ruth, is a tribute to her great-grandmother, Leeta, and grandmother, Ruth. "You'll find in here, lots of nods to them," Hoyt said, referencing the restored storefront in this historic building that her father, Scott Powers, and brother, Bo Powers, have been working on. "The paintings on the wall were all done by Leeta, and there is a picture of Ruth and a painting of Ruth. The chair was Leeta's. So, there are a lot of parts of them in here."

There are also lots of trendy styles for women.

"It's directed towards a woman that wants pieces in their wardrobe that can be dressed up, dressed down, that are very easy but at the same time make them feel put together and stylish," Hoyt said. Oh, and the clothes are sold "at a really good price point."

Operating a business is not exactly new to Hoyt; She's sold Stella & Dot products for years from her home, but when the building on Elm Street looked appealing, she convinced her father to restore it, promising to operate a new business in the storefront.

The growing buzz about Ludlow was part of the appeal.

"I felt that energy. I felt the momentum going in the downtown and I am so inspired," she said. "We have some great business owners."

Elm Street is buzzing lately with plans for Second Sight Spirits to expand, Circus Mojo and Bircus Brewing, Folk School Coffee Parlor's success (and weekly Jerry Springer podcast), the recent Beyond the Curb tour of urban living, and new plans for a municipal park near the city building, and a proposal to build a mixed-use residential and commercial project called Ludlow Yards, and several other new shops and night spots. "I think their energy and their passion were infectious and I saw this building up for sale and took a look at it and just fell in love it it. I saw how a woman's clothing boutique could fit in here with the woodwork. I just thought it was a gorgeous space."

Hoyt spends a lot of time at home with her 8-year old son, Lucas, and 4-year old daughter, Mallory, and her husband, Rich Hoyt, is the principal at St. Agnes School in Ft. Wright. She'll work all the hours at the store by herself for now - and through the holidays that means three or four days a week from late morning to early evening. "After the holidays, we'll evaluate how we are doing and what the needs are," she said.
One thing is certain: the Hoyts are committed to Ludlow. They also purchased a home in the city five years ago. 
"We were looking for houses, and I like the details and the architecture of old houses," she said. "You can get a very large, nice house for a fraction of the price that you would pay in some of the other suburbs.
"Also, I wanted to live in a very mixed community that had that urban feel and that you could walk to things," she said. 
Work will continue on the rest of the building but the boutique is ready and opened for business. Customers will see trendy brands like THML, Z Supply, and Umgee. "The brands will likely change," Hoyt said. "There will be a constant flow of new merchandise."
Early signs are pointing to success. A friends and family event at the store cleared out half of Hoyt's inventory, forcing a rush order in time for the holidays. 
"I love clothes," Hoyt said. "And I think when women have the right outfit on, it sets the tone for their day, but at the same time I want it to look easy."
Leeta Ruth is on Facebook and at 325 Elm Street in Ludlow.
Written by Michael Monks, editor & publisher


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