Monroe Street’s Velvet Button Boutique carries women’s apparel, gifts, handmade accessories and handbags. Owners Rhonda Dittberner and Karen Graeve have been friends since meeting in grade school in Sun Prairie. The pair left their prior careers, Dittberner as a non-profit professional and Graeve as an interior designer, and opened the boutique in February 2013.
The shop’s selection is a mix of each woman’s perspectives. “We don’t chase trends, but we try to be on trend. We buy what we like and we‘re a nice compliment to each other,” Dittberner said.
“If it was just me, it would be all capes and batwing sleeves,” Graeve laughed.
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The pair shop in New York and Chicago looking for clothing and jewelry that fit the Velvet Button’s style of “classic looks with an edge.” They said one of the more unexpected aspects of owning the boutique has been that multiple generations shop there, occasionally even three generations of a family.
“That’s been one of the most surprising, and one of the most wonderful things,” Graeve said. “We have the coolest customers and they have become like family.”
The Velvet Button Boutique also hosts private parties. Groups of friends or non-profit groups can reserve time to shop with a store discount, drink champagne and snack on appetizers. A recent visit to the shop found Beija-Flor “eco chic” denim made partially from recycled water bottles, maxi dresses by Tart, and soft, versatile tops and bottoms by Angelrox.