Erin Brechbill and her mother, Sheri Paparella, are confident in what they like. At trade shows, they don’t waste time deliberating over what to bring home. “It’s instinctive,” Brechbill says of their buying process. “It’s, ‘Do I love this or not?’”
This translates into the curated selection of dresses, casual streetwear, denim, T-shirts and jewelry seen at Rouze, their downtown Naples women’s boutique.
The typical Rouze shopper ranges from 30 to 60 years old, so the mother-daughter generational difference serves them well. “We try not to pick things that we wouldn’t wear ourselves,” Brechbill adds. Her preferences cater to the younger, edgier end of the spectrum, while Paparella relates to the more conservative customer. They both like to keep things fresh. On their three-to-four annual buying trips, the women scout emerging designers and new brands to introduce to Naples.
Before opening Rouze in March 2016, Brechbill and Paparella, spent eight years selling real estate together in Southwest Florida. Their mutual love of fashion eventually led them to open the shop.
Last December, the pair made the move from a location near the intersection of Pine Ridge Road and U.S. 41 to their current prime locale on Fifth Street South. Because the building was new, the design process began with a completely blank slate. But Brechbill knew just what she wanted: an industrial chic vibe that incorporated pink (“but not, like, little-girl pink,” she specifies), concrete floors and a “supermodel wall,” a photo gallery of the ‘90s-era model icons—Kate Moss, Linda Evangelista and the like—who inspired her at a young age.
Designer Danielle Glickson, of LVD Spaces, ran with the idea, transforming the space in less than eight weeks, with an exposed ceiling, luxe velvet couches, minimalist clothing racks and an oversized granite desk. The finishing touch: an eye-catching neon sign that reads It Was All a Dream, a nod to Brechbill’s love for rap music and the duo’s dream of bringing Rouze to life. The name of the store reflects their desire to awaken others’ interest in fashion; spelling it with a ‘z’ hints at the uniqueness of their inventory.
It’s just the two of them manning the shop, but there are many perks to the mother-daughter dynamic. The two offer personal styling and wardrobe consultations, in-store and in clients’ homes, and frequently attend community events and fundraisers for local charities, including The Shelter for Abused Women & Children and Humane Society Naples. When one is out and about, the other keeps the things running at the store. “Working with a family member, you can pick up their slack and fill in where the other one lacks,” Brechbill says. “You’re always there for one another.” —Jennifer Adams