Window Shopping: Loot

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Thanks to a mother-daughters team of owners, Loot, a Short North store celebrating its 20th anniversary, is constantly changing.

That's because Phyllis Potts and her daughters Jennifer Dennis and Leslie Welsh divide up the task of buying merchandise between the three of them, making for a loosely associated style that's full of surprises - some for the owners themselves.

"Sometimes something will come in that they bought, and I'll say, 'Oh, it's hideous, it'll never sell,' and then it sells," said Dennis, who called her style "traditional" and her sister's "more creative."

They opened the shop 20 years ago, starting out as an English antiques shop in the small space Luxe now occupies in the Short North.

"Now, we don't really do antiques at all," said Dennis, laughing, while sitting in the back half of their much larger location.

"We really like working together, in addition to what we do - we're just attracted to our product," she said. "It's hard to put an overall tag on the shop."

Keeping up with trends isn't a priority, Dennis said, adding the store's merchandise "speaks for itself to the customer who likes it."

The store's main lines, which bring in plenty of customers, include special-order bedding from Bella Notte and Pine Cone Hill. Shoppers also come in search of Zutano, the bright and soft baby apparel line they carry.

Potts, Dennis' mother, owned a bookstore years ago and does the book-buying for the store, which is well-known for its eclectic coffee-table choices. Most are grouped in short stacks throughout the store, with no two of the same: The White Dress: Inspiration for Brides, Manor Houses in Normandy and John & Yoko.

Loot's major clothing line, Flax, features loose-fitting, washable linen pieces in neutral colors. Tanks and maxidresses from Language have a more youthful, colorful vibe, and jewelry in the front room's display case offers lots of pendants, beaded earrings and a collection of cute cuffs.

Alongside those pieces are bath foams, lotions and lip balms from Mor, and on an adjacent table are seasonal, springtime elements. Smooth, wooden cases shaped like eggs and plenty of bunny and flower figurines dot the white, rustic table.

The table and all the furniture pieces displaying merchandise throughout the shop are for sale as well, Dennis said.


641 N. High St., Short North