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A Passion for Fashion

Boutique Owner Makes People Feel Beautiful

Kathy Lawrow – owner of Larue’s, an eclectic boutique – has always had a passion for fashion.

“My love for sewing clothes and expressing myself through what I wear started in high school,” she explains. “I would make different pieces for friends, family and myself, trying to match personality to clothing.”

As Kathy got more into sewing, she was surprised by the lack of local accessibility for natural fibers, silks and cotton.

“I wanted to use unique and well-made materials, but they were hard to find at that time,” she says. “I ended up buying a lot of things out of California.”

While Kathy explored fabric exporters, she realized that a lot of them also sold made-to-wear clothing items and gifts.

“I thought it would be fun to order pieces to sell myself in my area,” Kathy says. “I sold clothes out of my mom’s basement while I was still under the age of 20 and then started a storefront in my own home.”

During this time Kathy had a stand at local flea markets to increase brand awareness.

“I eventually ended up renting a space in Minneapolis over on 46th and Grand,” she said. “I named my business Larue’s, after my high school nickname, and we were there for five years.”

Later, Kathy moved into a location on Lyndale Avenue, where she stayed for 36 years.

“We have been a natural fiber store since the beginning, selling all kinds of clothing, gifts, jewelry, crystals, candles, art and more,” she explains.

In September 2022, Kathy relocated Larue’s to its newest location, 4301 Upton Ave. S. in Minneapolis.

“We loved our old place, but customer parking was becoming a big issue,” she says. “This new place is beautiful and has a lot of potential. I hope to become a fixture in this new community.”

Larue’s has been in business for over 40 years now and keeps evolving to meet consumer demand. Kathy goes to New York four times a year to keep her eyes open for the latest artists to feature.

“I pride myself on featuring artists – whether that be clothing designers, painters, jewelry makers, etc. – and it’s really a joy to help support their dreams,” she says. “I enjoy matching the artist to the client.”

Some of Kathy’s favorite artists to feature are Magnolia Pearl, Julie Shaw and Krista Larson.

“Magnolia and Krista have such fun art-to-wear clothing items that customers can dress up or down,” she says. “Julie Shaw creates one-of-a-kind gemstone jewelry.”

By partnering with so many artists, Kathy says Larue’s is a treasure trove of unique merchandise in a broad price range that stimulates all the senses. 

The store has one of the largest collections of art jewelry in the Twin Cities and sells fabrics in cotton, silk, velvet, rayon, tencel, and more.

“We carry a wide variety of beautiful styles in sizes XS to 3X,” Kathy says. “Our jewelry comes in many different forms, but we specialize in semi-precious and gemstones.”

Kathy’s goal for the store is to offer quality products and make the world a more beautiful place.

“I just love helping a customer have fun,” she says. “I like to put whole outfits together and have people leave Larue’s feeling confident and put together. It’s about making them feel beautiful in their own style.”

Customers can schedule private parties in Larue’s for birthdays and special occasions.

“Private parties are so fun,” Kathy says. “The store will stay open late during these events and we set up the place to accommodate our guests. My staff and I offer drinks, treats, and a personalized shopping experience.”

Larue’s also offers different special events throughout the year, including trunk shows and recycle sales.

“I really like taking any chance to have fun events in my store,” Kathy says. “It brings people in who may not have heard of us.”

When Kathy isn’t working, she loves going to concerts with her husband, spending time with her grandchildren and cooking.

“My family is everything to me, they are the reason I can do what I do,” she says. “My husband, Doug, is in a band and helps do all the social media for Larue’s.”

Larue’s is open Wednesday-Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sundays, 12 to 5 p.m. Visit its online store at