Maren Roth - Off the Rack

Not many Short North clients can say that celebrities make it a point to stop in their store when they are in town. Maren Roth of Rowe Boutique can. Actress/musician Mandy Moore was on a flight to Columbus for a radio interview when she read about Roth’s shop in a recent issue of Jane Magazine and made an unplanned Short North shopping stop. “Before the shop was even open, I got this phone call from a girl asking me where we were located,” remembers Roth. “Then, later on, I saw her come in and she was like, ‘That was me on the phone, by the way.’”

Moore, like many of Roth’s clients, selected some of the hip pieces made by local and national independent designers that can’t be found anywhere else. The store is wonderfully diverse, thanks in great part to Roth’s own career background. After working as a public relations manager for several top New York boutique firms and top fashion magazines, she not only added to her own fashion repertoire, but built a solid contact base and a smart business sense that she applied to the Rowe concept.

Not ready for a whole space, she opened up shop whenever and wherever she could, creating a traveling “truck show” of sorts. From galleries to a friend’s home to an open space above what is now Rojo, Roth continued to gain support and, most importantly, faithful clients, eventually enabling her to open a permanent location. “I really lucked out with this location because I think this section is really the heart of the Short North,” she says.

Offering distinctive styles for both men and women, Rowe’s collections only continue to grow and evolve as Roth learns from her clients and from fashion itself. “I order about seven months in advance so I find a lot of new lines and bring them into the store,” she says. “I’m about to order spring ’08 and I’m a little better prepared based on what has already done well in the store and what hasn’t.”

True to her PR roots, Roth has several upcoming events planned, including an in-house fashion show and possible private shopping parties.

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