Lake Mills’ newest business, The Vault Boutique and Salon, 121 W. Lake St., is the city’s latest spot for boutique fashion, accessories, previously loved items and salon services. Owner Stef Wrasse, who has been a hairstylist in Lake Mills for six years, opened the shop with her husband Jeremy, earlier this summer. The boutique opened at the beginning of October.
The boutique features the latest in fashion, with new styles every week.
“I always wanted to own my own salon,” Wrasse said, while sitting in her chair last month. “I was content where I was, but COVID brought the dream back alive. I’ve always loved fashion and this place became available and I had the space to do both.”
Her husband Jeremy did all the work in the building, getting ready for the salon and boutique to open.
“We thought if we didn’t do it now we would never do it,” Wrasse said. “I wanted it to be Boho and cozy,” she said of the business.
Most of the merchandise in her boutique is new, but she has what she calls a ‘Previously loved’ section, where she sells used items she has found while thrifting.
“I wanted to give Lake Mills something for women, because I felt there was a need for that. I love to thrift shop, so I would sell things on the for-sale sites and my clients said, ‘Stef you should open up a shop.’’”
Between styling three days a week and running the boutique Wrasse is busy, she also homeschools her children Ayla, 5 and Rilyn, 3, and she’s thankful for the opportunity to combine her passions. One of the chairs in the salon is rented and she has another available.
Wrasse, a Lakeside Lutheran graduate, found the brands and wholesalers online for the boutique and chooses the pieces she likes to bring into the store.
“I’ve always loved fashion and I like putting outfits together, so this is a dream come true for me to be able to do both.”
The inspiration for the name of the boutique came from the vault in the back of the store.
“There’s a real vault in the back, that’s why I called it The Vault.”
The building known historically as, the Cook-Buchanan Co, Building, has traditionally been a retail space, according to the Wisconsin Historical Society, but in 1907 it was converted into the Lake Mills Post Office.
Wrasse is working on a website because she would like to be able to do online sales as well. She is currently on Facebook and Instagram.
“I’m just trying to target all the women, younger to older, with a trendier feel,” she said.
She will be showcasing her new items via social media on Wednesdays. She is also planning to do different events after the pandemic is over.
“The community has supported us and I’m very thankful.”