New Dress Shop Racks Up Options
'Karen’s Off The Rack' provides high fashion to Eureka. The shop's owner just relocated here.
A multi-generational labor of love is now Eureka’s newest place for multi-generational fashion, with the opening of Karen’s Off The Rack, at 107 E. Fifth.
Eureka native Betty Elder named the shop for her daughter. While battling cystic fibrosis, Karen Elder opened a bridal boutique. Karen, with the help of Betty Elder and Betty's mother, Leona Martin, built Karen’s Wedding Boutique into a West St. Louis County landmark for 18 years. With her daughter’s death and her mother’s retirement, Elder has relocated the business to Eureka and expanded the boutique concept.
Although the store’s specialty is still bridal wear, including custom-designed veils, Karen’s Off The Rack differs from the traditional “boutique” approach, explained Elder. At most bridal shops, customers choose from samples, but the actual dress is made to order. The process can take six months, including several fittings. Instead, Karen’s keeps numerous styles and sizes in stock. Not only is the process faster, but the gowns can cost hundreds of dollars less. All gowns are from well-known designers and are in new condition, never worn or altered.
In addition to bridal wear, Karen’s has grown to include more than 300 special occasion fashions, ranging from girls’ communion and flower girl dresses to party wear, to mother of the bride dresses, along with jewelry and accessories.
Karen’s is located on the second floor of the Eureka Antique Mall, next to Spooner’s Frozen Custard. The shop is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays, or by appointment.