June 13, 2012


Maren Roth / Owner of Rowe - a contemporary boutique in the Short North / Columbus, Ohio

I met Maren Roth shortly after I moved to Columbus. I had never been to Rowe, so I stopped in to check it out - and met Maren. She was really friendly {she always is} and we ended up finding out that we had moved back to Ohio within a few months of each other {she from NYC and I from Chicago}, and that we were the same age. I remember this well because at the time I knew very few people in Columbus, and it was nice to talk to someone else my age that had just left a big city to come back to Ohio. 

You know those girls who are just so effortlessly stylish you want to dislike them? You know - the girls you love to hate. Maren is one of those... but - you can't do anything but love her. She is beautiful, successful, and Columbus' own fashion darling. 

Maren is one of those people that takes full advantage of the city she calls home... making Columbus her own little NYC. She's involved and active in the community in many ways, but the closest to her heart? The Jack Roth Rock N Run - an annual 5K race she organizes in honor of her late father. The race has grown each year since its inception. Not surprising because Maren just makes things happen. 

Thank you, Maren, for being a L&R Style Muse! 

L&R: Who are your style muses? 
M: Stevie Nicks,  Kate Moss,  Diane Kruger, Olivia Polermo, Rosie Huntington Whitley, Rachel Bilson, Lauren Hutton, Julianne Moore... is that too many?  I am constantly inspired by beautiful women in the arts! 

L&R: How would you describe your personal style? 
M: Bohemian with a classic american twist.  I am a hippy at heart, long flowy dresses, big sleeves, fringe, maxi's, etc.,  but also I love beautifully tailored pieces, especially blazers, well fitted pants and a classic button down. 

L&R: What is your first fashion memory...the moment you fell in love with clothes? 
M: I have a terrible memory in general, but this, I remember.  My aunt gave me a white rabbit fur coat at about age four and I exclaimed "Ahhh, my furrst (emphasis on the u and not properly pronounced first), fuurr", I think my mom knew she was in trouble! 

L&R: Tell us a little about your career path, and what led to opening your own store.
M: I knew I definitely wanted to be in fashion after spending the summer of my junior year in New York working for a fashion trade pub called DNR.  It was the men's equivalent to women's wear daily.  After my internship, I was offered a fashion assistant job with my editor at his new job as fashion director at Men's Health; however, I had one semester of school left to finish in order to graduate, so I decided to pass it up.  He understood and was still  extremely helpful in finding me a position, once I moved to New York. But unfortunately, or fortunately - it would turn out, I landed a job at a fashion PR firm instead of at a magazine.  Long story short, I ended my career in New York working for a wholesale showroom, where I got to see the wholesale world. Although I was the PR director for the lines we represented at the showroom, I helped out at trade shows and got to help buyers and really see the ins and outs of the wholesale/boutique business.  After leaving New York and spending a few weeks in LA, I had an epiphany as I was helping some buyers at a trade show I was freelancing at, "I don't want to be selling the clothes to these buyers, i want to be buying them and selling them to the consumers!'  So I packed up my car and drove back to Ohio, where I wrote a business plan and worked my tail off to get the business of the ground.  After a lot of "No's", I decided to take matters into my own hands and start the store anyway.  I ran up a credit card and maxed it out buying small size runs, and got some designer friends of mine in New York to send me merchandise on consignment. A dear friend in Columbus, Rebecca Ibel, lent me her gallery space for a long weekend and I opened the very first Rowe pop up show/trunk show.  After that weekend, I saw it was viable and something people loved and wanted. I kept doing the moveable boutique thing until 11 months later when I opened the the doors of Rowe's permanent home. Two years after that, I expanded the store to the space next to Rowe... knocked a hole through the wall to combine them, re-designed the space and doubled the store!

L&R: Are there pieces in your closet you find yourself wearing constantly?  
M: For a short amount of time.  There are things I like to wear and then put away so they feel like new later on, however, once I wear something once, it looses a little of its luster, so I tend to shop more because I like that very first wear!  

L&R: Your favorite "find"? 
M: It's crazy hard to narrow that down to one item. My best friend, Val, actually finds me the most interesting vintage pieces. She's always sending me beautiful treasures, so I have too many to pick from on the jewelry and accessory side from her. As for clothes, I have this Iro jacket that my friend Rahav gave me at the Iro showroom in New York.  He lets me come and sort through boxes of old merchandise when I come to town to see if I want to buy anything for personal use.  Last summer there was this really cool jacket that I found and he said "you can have that" and I about fell over!  It's a thin cotton but has the most ridiculous chain and turquoise detail all along the arms and a tiny strip of leather with a hook & eye closure along the opening of the jacket.  It's one of those really special pieces you feel amazing in and just about everyone and their grandmother compliments you on!  

L&R: When you aren't wearing pieces from Rowe, where are they from? Other places you shop? 
M: Zara, Madewell, thrift stores and other boutique's I frequent when I travel, like my friend's store - Penelope T. in Tampa. 

L&R: What would your dream job be, if you didn't own your own shop? 
M: Rockstar

L&R: Who is your favorite band? 
M: Again, really hard to narrow down, so I'll give you top 5  right now: 
Fleetwood Mac, Black Crowes, Rolling Stones,Ray LaMontagne & Mumford & Sons

L&R: What are your favorite spots in Columbus? 
M: Rowe, Basi Patio, The LC for a great outdoor show, My aunt & uncle's pool in Bexley, The Wexner Center, Jr.'s Taco Truck in it's parking lot location

L&R: You live & work in the short north, are there any destinations that draw you out of the neighborhood? 
M: Harvest Patio/Curio Bar, I swear I am there like twice a week! 

L&R: Three beauty products you can't live without? 
1. Laura Mercier silk creme foundation
2. Caress Evenly Gorgeous Exfoliating Beauty Burnt Brown Sugar & Karite ButterBody Wash  
3. Bumble & Bumble Straight Blowdry

L&R: Inquiring minds {like me} want to know, what is your favorite nail polish and lipstick at this moment? 
M: I am terrible at painting my nails because I bite the heck out of them, which is a horrific habit I wish I could break myself of and if anyone has a secret to it I will take it!  So, I will give you 2 of my favorite lipsticks instead.  One of my best gal pal's, Brooke, turned me onto Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge for lips & cheeks, it works double duty and always keeps my cheeks looking perfectly dewy while adding just the right amount of gloss to my lips at the same time.  My other tried & true is cover girl lip perfection in flame, it stays on even when you want it gone!

{All photographs taken by me...  I wish Rowe was my closet.}

ps. Maren's shoes were so cute, and I should have made her show them off for a photo. I let you down, lovely readers!

1 comment: