BY JACLYN ROSE –
Brad Cole and Alexa Rouse, owners of Loulla Bell’s Boutique, are both natives of Mena and graduates of Mena High School, but that is where the similarities end. The duo are as different as night and day but together create a powerhouse team that have built an online clothing boutique that has garnered over 50,000 Facebook likes in less than a year. “I have always liked fashion and shopping and always wanted to own my own business,” explained Rouse. “I am a social media freak and I just started putting our stuff out there. I contacted two girls on MTV that wear our clothes and market for us and it just spread so fast.”
Rouse is a recent graduate of Arkansas Tech University with a major in criminal justice and a mother of a one year old little boy and spends her days working for the Office of Child Support Enforcement. Cole holds a degree in ag business from Southern Arkansas University and has a 15 year old son. An experienced entrepreneur, Cole has owned several businesses over the years but none in the field of fashion. By contrast, he owns Brand and Son, LLC where he does construction work with his backhoe, dump truck and dozer. He also runs a cow and calf operation for his uncle. “Alexa and I had talked for four years about opening a boutique. We finally just went to Dallas Market and started. She is a computer wizard and I am a business wizard and that is how we just click. We both work all day and then package during the evenings. In the mornings, I go mail the packages and then go check cows. Everyone that knows me just can’t believe I’m selling women’s clothes but we have a lot of fun,” explained Cole.
Loulla Bell’s Boutique focuses mostly on women’s fashion but has begun to carry many unisex tee shirts and expects their first shipment of their graphic shirts, designed by them, later this month. “I think we have a unique style, it’s a southern style that others are afraid to do. I would call it a high end country/southern style,” explained Rouse. “I’ve learned that fashion repeats itself, just like history. I am looking for ideas everywhere now. I’ll see a girl wearing cool shoes and take a picture and send it to Alexa. Or I’ll see a cool cardigan and send it to her. We carry lots of graphic shirts, tank tops, shirts, pants, leggings, cardigans, jewelry, just a little bit of everything. We really just dove into this with no expectations and we are both self-taught and go-getters. I don’t like to fail, so no matter what, I’m going to figure out a way to do it,” said Cole.
“I think Polk County is a great place to raise your kids. I love the people here and I love the Bearcats. It’s just home,” said Cole. “I agree, it’s a great place to raise my son and it’s quiet, you can leave your doors unlocked and no one is going to bother you,” added Rouse.
Loulla Bell’s Boutique can be found on their new website at www.shoploullabells.com, on instagram at @loullabellsboutique and on their Facebook Page, loullabells.