- Jon Kelley
1312 W. Colorado Ave., 633-1357
Like many women, I have a love-hate relationship with shopping. I enjoy buying new stuff and finding great bargains, but I absolutely despise the physical acts required to do so. I loathe asking for customer service and trying on clothes fluorescent lights are evil and soliciting a department store clerk for an honest opinion is about as worthwhile as banking with Lehman Brothers.
And then there's Eve's Revolution. Eve Carlson's west side boutique embodies all that is good in the shopping world. Carlson, a 40-year-old originally from upstate New York, says she's tried to create a refuge by developing relationships with her clients, offering honest opinions on outfits and, on occasion, opening a bottle of wine during shopping hours.
"Customer service is what I pride myself on," Carlson says. "Our customers become our friends. ... We love taking care of women."
That vibe permeates the old Victorian that's been home to Eve's Revolution since it opened eight years ago. The interior is a reflection of Carlson's sunny personality: The walls are a cheerful, but not obnoxious, shade of yellow, and each of the five rooms is punctuated with antique furniture, like an old bookshelf now housing handbags or an armoire stuffed with jewelry. New and resale skirts, dresses and pants hang on clothing racks built from plumbing pipes (Carlson's husband is an industrial arts teacher) and funky bent-metal light fixtures give the boutique a charming touch.
Another plus: It doesn't smell like your grandpa's T-shirt.
The prices are reasonable, too. On my shopping venture, during which Carlson and her assistants happily help me search for the perfect outfit, I find a print sleeveless top for $24, a black-and-grey leopard blouse for $26.50 and a necklace for $12. I try on a funky dress ($40), trousers ($29.50) and a resale jacket ($19). The 75-percent-off rack holds tunic tops for $9. The quality of every piece, new or resale, is superb.
Though Eve's has won Best Consignment Store four years in a row, Carlson only does around 30 percent of her business in resale or consignment. The other 70 percent is from new clothes she finds at apparel shows in cities like New York and Los Angeles. Selling retail wasn't part of her original vision, but Carlson says the shift has attracted people.
"A lot of people shied away from consignment and resale it has this stigma," she says. "Once they see the kind of resale I have, they kinda get over it and realize you don't have to dig and look through damaged items. That's not going to be here."
Carlson says her customers range from teenagers to hip 70-year-olds. And her basic aim is the same for all of them.
"This is all about making you beautiful. We're here to help you walk out the door being so excited about your outfit, so that when you put it on, people come up to you and say, 'You look so great in that where did you get it?'"
"That's kinda my ulterior motive," she adds, laughing. "I want you to be beautiful, because that's great for me, too."