New Berlin — When people see the JLK in the name of their new clothing store, owners say they hope people will think of the monograms on high-end fashions like the kind they will find at JLK Outlet.
And when they see outlet, they hope people will know that the bottom line will be much lower than usual for this top-of-the-line apparel.
JLK Outlet, an upscale clothing store, will hold a grand opening at its location, 15160 W. Library Lane, in the New Berlin City Center on Saturday, June 21. The ribbon-cutting will be at 1 p.m. and there will be refreshments and 20 percent off everything in the store.
New Berlin residents Jeff and Laura Karvala have been working on their retail store idea for the last four years. Laura Karvala had been serving as an alderwoman and is now breathing a little sigh of relief that she lost her bid for re-election last spring to a former mayor of Elmhurst, Ill.
She could have handled both starting a new business and her duties to the city, she said, "But it would have been very, very stressful."
"I never thought I'd be happy to say I lost," she said.
Instead, Karvala can devote her time to the business that actually opened in mid-May.
"It has been an awesome three weeks," she said. And she and her husband cannot believe how busy were right from the first, she said.
"I'm over the moon excited," Karvala said.
The plan for keeping prices low is buying in bulk and a fast turnover, she said. And so far, the turnover has been quick. In three weeks, the store has received five shipments of fresh fashions and was expecting another last week.
"That's how busy we've been," she said.
And the prices reflect the brisk sales.
For example, a Denim & Co. Fashion-QVC sweater with sleeveless sweater vest over the top tops out at $12.99. Men's neckties are $9.99 for all name brands. Polo and Izod shirts go for $19.99 and women's Level 99 jeans are going out the door for $11.99. JLK Outlet also has children's fashions plus purses, belts and socks.
Karvala says the store has something for everyone of every age and she even has bridesmaids dresses.
She isn't going for a certain look, Karvala said, "It just has to be high-end."
But the look of the store is another matter.
"It has a boutique look — like you would find in Door County," she said.
The store's unique name came as a bit of an accident as she and her husband were signing their lease. The real estate agent kept filling in the couple's initials on the lease documents and the Karvalas who had been searching for a name for their store had an epiphany.
"I said I think you just named our business," Karvala said. The initials reminded her of a monogram, she said.
New Berlin Mayor Dave Ament was pleased at the store's addition.
"That's the type of small family retail store originally envisioned in the City Center," he said. The hope was to have such small businesses to offset bigger retail or chain stores to retain a family-friendly feel, Ament said.
JLK Outlet will be the first to occupy the space.
Karvala will continue a successful real estate business with her sister Tammy Sindberg, also of New Berlin. Sindberg is helping her sister at the new store, as well. Jeff Karvala is a purchasing agent for a manufacturing company.
This will be a big few days for JLK Outlet that will be one of nine trolley stops in New Berlin on the Fourth Annual Denim & Diamonds. It is a fundraiser to fight ovarian cancer and will be held from 2 to 8 p.m. Thursday, June 19. Businesses at each stop donated to the cause and trolley riders will give as much as they want.
There will be raffles, prizes and refreshments and entertainment.
AT A GLANCE
JKL Outlet, 15160 W. Library Lane, in the New Berlin City Center, hours:
· 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays
· 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays
· noon to 5 p.m. Sundays
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