Twenty years ago, two best friends -- Kathy Reiss-Miller and Kelly McDonald -- wanted to bring Doc Marten boots, Chuck Taylor high-tops, and used Levis together under one roof in Louisville’s Highlands, opening Clodhoppers at 1561 Bardstown Road.
This Saturday, Reiss-Miller and McDonald – who are still the best of friends – will host a quiet 20th anniversary celebration at their current location at 3725 Lexington Road in St. Matthews. Louisville.com paid a brief visit Friday afternoon with Reiss-Miller prior to the festivities.
“It makes me feel old,” she said when asked about the length of time she and McDonald had spent building their business. “It’s gone quick. It doesn’t seem that long.”
The boutique came to be when the two co-owners saw a need to be filled regarding a classic piece of footwear, one that nowadays can be purchased at almost any mall in Louisville:
“At that point [in the early 1990s], you couldn’t get Doc Martens in Louisville. I know that it sounds crazy, because you can get ‘em at Dillard’s or something else. And we liked them and wore ‘em and couldn’t get ‘em anywhere… everybody’s wearing DAV used Levi’s. We go down there and get ‘em… There just wasn’t any boutiques [like ours] in Louisville.”
Since that time, Reiss-Miller and McDonald had opened a second location in Prospect, Ky. before consolidating both locations under the retired Vogue Theater, allowing the co-owners to keep and attract customers from the East End, the Highlands and St. Matthews. The theater holds a special place in their hearts, having seen “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” and numerous independent films in the building’s previous life.
As for the present, Clodhoppers will offer 20 percent off their wares, drawings, a pop-up shop featuring pieces from designer Elva Fields, and from 4 to 8 p.m., cocktails and hors d’oeurves. There will also be collages of the first iteration of the boutique for guests to pore over. The boutique will open Saturday at 10 a.m.
Photos: Cameron Miquelon/Louisville.com.