Tou-ché offers a little bling

| December 8, 2011
wner Jocelyn Dave enjoys finding elegant ‘accent’ clothing for her customers.

wner Jocelyn Dave enjoys finding elegant ‘accent’ clothing for her customers.

When Tou-ché Boutique owner Jocelyn Dave makes a career change, she does it in both style and in a big way.

Tou-ché Boutique brings unusual accessories to Plainview Shopping Center, and opening the shop was a big career leap for Dave.

“I was doing corporate gifts and special-event planning in the Chicago area, but often talked with a girlfriend about how much I’d like to have a shop,” she said. “One day she asked me, ‘Why don’t you just do it?’ She was so emphatic, I answered, ‘I think I will!’ I ended up choosing the name ‘Tou-ché’ because it sounded catchy and unusual.”

For a time, her store was in Oak Park, Ill., but in 2005, she moved back to Louisville; married her husband, George Dave and looked for a new location for the shop.

Three-and-a-half years ago, she opened Tou-ché Boutique on Middletown’s Main Street.

“It turned out not to be a good location for us,” she said. “I don’t think customers were looking for a boutique there. They were more interested in arts and crafts, and antiques.”

Undaunted, a year ago she moved the shop to Plainview Shopping Center, which has proven a much better site.

The Tou-che’ Boutique moved to the Plainview Shopping Center a year ago.

The Tou-che’ Boutique moved to the Plainview Shopping Center a year ago.

“We’re off the beaten track a bit, but people who find us, love us,” she said. “Our charm is that shoppers find gifts for their girlfriends, their daughter-in-laws. They’re always surprised that the prices are so good.”

Jocelyn primarily offers accessories such as purses, scarves and jewelry, but she also stocks lingerie and selected articles of clothing, with plus sizes available.

She makes it a point to carry items made by Kentucky companies and individuals, including jewelry by Linda Drescher and Debra Delain, luggage by Caught Ya Lookin’, and artwork by Tamara Adams and Julie Diehl.

She also carries local author Pat Karem-Gramig’s book “Don’t Look Now, but Your Kid Is Showing,” which is about raising autistic children; sales of the book and accompanying tote bag support autism research.

A woman-owned company called Nitro, which is based in Frankfort, creates University of Louisville and University of Kentucky sportswear that sport school symbols in crystal appliqué.

Dramatic necklaces from Tou-che’ Boutique make a bold fashion statement.

Dramatic necklaces from Tou-che’ Boutique make a bold fashion statement.

“They’re for the woman who wants a little bling in her life,” she said.

“Our clientele is a little more mature, so when they go to a game, they don’t want to look like a cheerleader. They want to be sophisticated while still being a great fan.”

Those items and many others will be displayed on Ladies’ Night (Dec. 14) and Men’s Night (Dec. 19), both of which will feature refreshments from 4 to 7 p.m.

However, one thing that isn’t for sale also will attract attention: the photo of three African-American women in Chattanooga, circa 1909, that’s on the wall behind the counter.

“It’s a family photo from a dear friend, Mary Palmore, whose mother is on the right-hand side. The ladies were home from their first semester at Fisk University,” Jocelyn said. “The picture says a lot about who we’re trying to serve. I like working with women who are in mid-life and have careers, or are in early retirement. I want Tou-ché to be the kind of shop where people say, ‘Let’s stop in and get a gift that’s really different.’”

Tou-ché Boutique (9940 Linn Station Road) is open this month Monday-Friday 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m., and Sunday 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Regular hours resume in January. For information, visit www.tou-cheboutique.com or Facebook , or phone 327-3822.

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