Akron natives move back to hometown to launch Ely Road Boutique
The story behind the owners of Ely Road Boutique is one that’s becoming more common in Akron. Those who grew up here then moved away, only to return and set up new roots, giving back to the community.
“It was vitally important for us to start our business in a place where we grew up and has so much meaning for our family and our network,” says Suzie Pruitt, who, along with her husband, have moved back to Akron to open the store after living in cities like Boston and Houston. They tired of the corporate world in favor of small business ownership. “We just kind of went for it,” she says.
Ely (pronounced Eel-y) Road is an eclectic store on Maiden Lane (behind Crave restaurant on West Market Street in downtown Akron) and offers low-cost fashion guided by Pruitt’s hand-selected taste.
“We describe it as hand-curated fashion, unique pieces, patterns and prints,” she adds. “Basically really great quality shoes, clothing, accessories and jewelry you’re not going to find anywhere else. Everything in our store is $40 and under.”
She adds: “Each one of our pieces really touches someone in a different way.” Pruitt points out a skeleton key with scenery embedded into the key, which she says reminds of her of Faberge eggs her grandmother made. She then draws attention to a patterned blazer, which can be worn to work or after-hours with a pair of jeans.
Over the years, Pruitt would put together outfits herself, and whether it was coworkers or strangers on the street, she would get stopped by people who would ask where she got her outfit. And her impeccable sense of style bears itself out with the “eye-catching” skirt she’s wearing for this video interview.
Pruitt says a driving force behind the business was Downtown Akron Partnership, who, along with the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, helped get Ely Road Boutique off the ground.
Another store staple is the adorable Welsh Corgi, cleverly named Huey Lewis Pruitt, who also appears in the store’s logo and branding.
Ely Road Boutique is located at 21 Maiden Lane, right beside Urban Eats, and is open Monday through Saturday. For info, call (330) 805-1871 or visit www.elyrdboutique.com or find them on Facebook (www.facebook.com/elyrdboutique), Twitter or Instagram (@elyrdboutique).