LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Jan. 9, 2018) — South Fourth Street in downtown Louisville soon will be home to an upscale women’s clothier. Mabel & Moss, a local retailer of new clothing and handcrafted items, is set to move from its Highlands location to the Hilton Garden Inn on the southeast corner of Fourth and Chestnut streets, according to Lee Weyland, who leads commercial property leasing for Louisville-based Weyland Ventures.
“We’re very pleased to have a retailer the caliber of Mabel & Moss opening in the heart of South Fourth Street,” Weyland said. “We’re also proud to be working with a local small business that is bringing back fine clothing retail to an area of downtown that once was home to several local clothing stores.”
Mabel & Moss has leased 1,930 s.f. on the first floor of the Hilton Garden Inn, 350 W. Chestnut St. The unfinished space, located next to Cellar Door Chocolates, fronts on South Fourth Street, Weyland said. He expects the space to be finished within 90 to 120 days.
Michelle Pellerin, owner of Mabel & Moss, said she’s “really looking forward to this move,” which will allow her to expand her offerings since the location is much larger than the 1,100 s.f. she operates in now. “When I saw the space, I knew immediately that I wanted to be in that space,” Pellerin said. “Downtown has a different vibe and more exposure” than her current location.
She said she likes the fact that recent redevelopment of the South Fourth area with the addition of shops and restaurants has “created more of a destination area.”
Weyland noted that the area is now a “thriving corridor” with the Hilton Garden Inn, the renovation of the Guthrie Coke mixed-used development and Cincinnati-based Capital Investment Group Inc.’s apartment complex that is under way down the block in a property formerly owned by KentuckyOne Health. Weyland Ventures is a partner in the Hilton Garden Inn Clay Commons Hotel with Rosemont, Ill.-based First Hospitality Group. In addition, Weyland Ventures is master developer of the Clay Commons area, which also includes The Henry Clay mixed-used development and the Mercury Ballroom.
“Redevelopment in the Clay Commons area is a great example of the type of investment and improvements that boost the appeal of Louisville’s Central Business District,” said Rebecca Matheny, executive director of the Louisville Downtown Partnership, which works to strengthen commerce, promote quality development and improve experiences for visitors, residents and workers in downtown Louisville.
“The fact that Mabel & Moss has chosen to locate on South Fourth Street is the right next step for that area,” Matheny said. “We needed a clothing store to join the other shops and restaurants that have opened in that corridor in recent years. This is a great fit and a wonderful project to start the new year.”
Pellerin said she will work on the store’s design finish with the team at Weyland Ventures. She expects the store to open sometime in March. “It’s going to look amazing,” Pellerin said. “I definitely want you to feel ‘wow’ when you walk in my store.”
She pointed out that the new Mabel & Moss will have a unique look in that all of the fixtures will be handcrafted from metal pipe and wood by her husband, Jack Pellerin. She said creating the fixtures is a hobby for her husband and that he made the ones used at her Highlands location. “A lot of people tell me now that my store is very inviting. I get a lot of compliments.”
Michelle Pellerin described her store as one that has “a more curated environment.” And the name has meaning related to her wares. Mabel refers to a variety of classic, feminine clothing brands, which typically have what she calls “a vintage silhouette.” Moss pays homage to the casual organic feel of other lines she sells that have an “everyday kind of vibe.”
Pellerin opened her store almost nine years ago as a fine vintage clothing and consignment store. But finding the types of vintage clothing she preferred to sell became challenging and time consuming so she changed her retail concept a couple of years ago to create the Mabel & Moss brand. She now sells higher-end new clothing, accessories and handmade apothecary items such as lotions and soaps.
Pellerin said she was prompted to start her retail venture as a result of the shops she saw while traveling internationally during her previous career in information technology and marketing. “After visiting little shops in Stockholm, I decided I wanted to do that.”
Many of the lines she sells are international with clothes coming from London and Canada. She orders shoes from Sweden. Purses she carries are handmade in Ethiopia and Peru. She also sells jewelry made by local, regional and international artists. “It’s an eclectic mix of things – mostly clothing and accessories,” Pellerin said. With the new, larger space, she will be expanding the lines and types of products sold at Mabel & Moss.
Pellerin will close her Highlands location at 936 Baxter Ave. on Jan. 27 to make way for the expansion of the El Taco Luchador restaurant, which is located next door. She said she twice turned down requests by El Taco Luchador representatives to give up the space, but finally decided to look around for a new location when they asked a third time.
While she likes the atmosphere of the Highlands location where she’s operated, Pellerin believes her move to the heart of downtown is better for the business. The downtown work force provides a built-in customer base along with guests staying at the Hilton Garden Inn as well as those staying at the nearby Seelbach, Embassy Suites and Brown hotels. Plus the soon-to-open Omni Hotel is not far away. “Everything happened at the right time,” Pellerin said.