Window Shopping: Rowe

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Longtime customers will be happy to know that the newly revamped and expanded Rowe still offers the same mix of women's merchandise that's made it a destination for dresses and jewelry.

The Short North boutique has doubled in size, and while owner Maren Roth completely overhauled the look and feel of the store, she knew she already had a winning formula.

Roth credits her customers with allowing the growth. When the opportunity arose to expand next door - to the space once occupied by Luxe de Vie - by knocking down walls to join the two, she jumped on it.

By the end of its three years in the original location, Rowe was more than cozy, Roth said. But the new look in the expanded space stays true to that feeling, with lots of cube-like shelves built onto the walls that give shoppers lots to look at.

To give the two halves a unified look, Roth redesigned both, keeping the store open by operating out of the side that wasn't under construction at the time. Now, each is outfitted with raw wooden shelving, metal racks and light bulbs that dangle from the ceiling from black cords, giving the store a minimal look that reflects Downtown life.

The store, which officially opened for Saturday's Gallery Hop, has an expanded selection of longtime favorite Rowe lines and some new ones, including Diane Von Furstenberg, Robbi & Nikki and Jay Godfrey.

"I think the Rowe girl - or the Rowe woman - is strong and she's independent, but she's also fun and flirty and doesn't take herself too seriously," Roth said.

And might there again be a Rowe man? Rowe carried a small selection of menswear for a time, but ended up eliminating it - not for want of customers, but because it didn't work well with the rest of the store, Roth said.

Instead, she said she'd like to create a standalone store eventually.

"I always wanted to be more than just 718 North High Street, so this is, I think, the first mini-step," she said. "I would love - you know, I'm already thinking future - I would love to have a men's store."

Roth said she stuck with her existing store until the opportunity arose to expand because she couldn't fathom leaving the neighborhood.

"The Short North is who I am," Roth said. "It's independent. I'm an only child - I've never been into group things. I'm not a mall girl."

Rowe Boutique

718 & 720 N. High St., Short North



Hours: 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Saturday, noon-5 p.m. Sunday