With a focus on locally made goods and artwork, new boutique 5-0-Lou quickly finds its place among Louisville's bustling Frankfort Avenue corridor.
5-0-Lou is a brand new gift boutique and gallery located along a stretch of Louisville's Frankfort Avenue that has grown exponentially over the past decade. Housed in the former home of River City Tire, the space was reimagined from the studs out to be a welcoming place to find locally crafted wares.
Co-owner Terri Ross founded the store with her daughter, Tobie Gurley. Laura Bailey is the store's manager. The three works together closely to curate the shop's unique and eclectic offerings.
The reception has been phenomenal since 5-0-Lou opened nearly two months ago, Bailey says. During the store's soft opening, shop owners from within a several block radius stopped by to introduce themselves and welcome them to the neighborhood, she says, and residential building managers have also reached out for information to give to their tenants.
Situated in a busy section of Louisville's Clifton neighborhood, 5-0-Lou stocks locally made foods, books written by local writers, jewelry crafted by local artists, and décor made by local "Funky Junkmeister" Jason Wright, in addition to a wide variety of other handcrafted items.
The local grocery section is as much a grab-and-go shop for the community as it is a place to buy souvenirs. 5-0-Lou also carries a full line of locally made, high-quality skincare products — everything from beard-care products to body scrubs and bath bombs.
T-shirts designed by local artists, including featured merchandise from Kentucky for Kentucky, are hot items.
There are also plans to print tees and other goods in-house. Terri, the store's resident artist, has already designed a few items — everything from tea towels to coffee mugs — but the owners would like to source the majority of their designs from local artists as a way to support the community.
Part of the store will also be a dedicated gallery space to showcase local artist's work. The featured artwork, in virtually any medium, will change on a regular basis. While the owners initially invited artists to stop in any time to talk, the response was so enthusiastic that, at one point, Bailey says artists were lined up inside the store patiently waiting to show their work. A submission form has since been added to the store's website to streamline the process and more effectively connect with artists and local makers when space opens up.
The trio would also like to work with local artists on how to best package and represent their products in retail, noting that artists and artisans may not always have formal training in marketing their wares.
But what's most impressive is the foot traffic in the area. Bailey reports that, on several occasions, she's kept the doors open more than two hours after the shop's posted closing time because business was so brisk. There are a lot of restaurants in the area, and many people stop in before or after meals, she says. Bailey amusingly recounts some recent encounters with neighborhood characters, noting how much she and the owners have enjoyed developing relationships with regular customers in their community.
Though the trio is still getting their bearings, they have big plans for the future. They currently offer fresh-brewed coffee from Red Hot Roasters to customers every day, as well as balloons for kids. They'd also like to offer local food samplings when available.
5-0-Lou will also begin accepting orders to print custom tees once the printing equipment up and running. They also plan to host a monthly "Workshop Wednesday" program, in which a different artist can teach a class once a month. The first one is slated to be a pottery workshop with Carriage House Pottery. Be on the lookout for book signings by local writers, as well.
The shop will be an enthusiastic participant in the Frankfort Avenue Trolley Hop, held the last Friday of every month. There are also plans in the works for a Derby Art Show. While several artists are already lined up for this show, they are still seeking submissions for Derby-themed fine art.
Not only has the community wholeheartedly embraced 5-0-Lou, it's clear that the store is dedicated to supporting local artists and its community, as well.
5-0-Lou is located at 2235 Frankfort Ave., Suite 204, in Louisville, Kentucky. Call (502) 212-0927 or visit 5-0-lou.com for hours and information.