Esme and Elodie has been open for almost a year, but it’s quickly become one of the most beloved boutiques in downtown Renton, thanks in part to its inclusive sizes, colorful and exciting fashion, and the sheer charisma of owner Emily Brooker.
“I’m very social and I saw the store as an opportunity to meet new people,” said Brooker, 36, who previously had an exclusively online store before opening up on Renton’s 3rd Street. “People in Renton band around small businesses.”
Located at 710 South 3rd Street, Esme and Elodie is a boutique that carries eclectic clothes, hat, shoes and accessories, but one of the store’s selling points is its plus-size clothes, which Brooker says makes up 65% of her clothing inventory.
“My store needs to be size inclusive and colorful,” she said. “Being an ‘average size’ woman, there is a need for women to have cute clothing and it requires very little effort. There’s nothing special that I need to do in order to make sure I have plus-size clothes in my store and it’s the fact that there are others who choose not to carry these sizes.”
Esme and Elodie also carries a wide assortment of fun items, including witchy crystals, cheeky gift items from local artists, jewelry, books, “Zero Waste” home products and even sex toys.
“It evokes a lot of emotions when you go to a sex store,” said Brooker, explaining why she sells vibrators in her boutique. “I like to normalize a woman’s experience.”
A mother of six, Brooker moved to Washington state 11 years ago with her family. Originally from Pennsylvania, she went to college in Cleveland where she studied fashion design before switching to teaching.
After teaching in middle schools, Brooker became a stay-at-home mom, though she said she found the experience very isolating, especially when the pandemic hit. Brooker said that she couldn’t stand working from just a computer screen anymore, leading to the opening of Esme and Elodie.
“When I had the boutique, I had the opportunity to meet new people and finally feel that support and community,” she said. “It feels like a drug and you don’t want to quit.”
Brooker especially loves the women she’s met in the community and makes sure to sell items from local female artists and business women.
“My mission is to keep and help woman brands and woman businesses,” she said.
Esme and Elodie is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays.