Granddaughter of popular Hamilton dress shop owners opens her own boutique in Butler County

Credit: Journal News

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Flori opens at Monroe Premium Outlets

Credit: Journal News

Fashion and apparel boutique opens at Cincinnati Premium Outlets.

A popular Hamilton dress shop, Florence’s, is making an updated, multiple-generation comeback of sorts: Melanie Shalloe recently opened Flori, a fashion and apparel boutique, at Cincinnati Premium Outlets in Monroe.

Shalloe, a graduate this month from Miami University’s Hamilton campus with a degree in small-business management, is taking up where her grandparents left off, is partnered with Tony Traub, who is engaged to her mother, Elizabeth Shalloe.

Dan and Maribeth Graf, the third family generation to own a dress shop in Hamilton, closed Florence’s in about 2000, their granddaughter said.

“We sell a wide variety of women’s clothing,” said Melanie Shalloe, with beach cover-ups and kimonos popular items now. Tote bags, T-shirts from size Small to 2X, shorts, purses, wallets and jewelry also are offered. There’s a full wall of sunglasses, which will be selling for $5 this weekend.

“The main goal of the shop was to find something a little bit more affordable,” she said. “And almost every one of our items is under $24.99.”

Flori has 1,400 square feet of selling area and is located in Space 229 at the outlet mall, next to the Columbia Factory Store.

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Melanie Shalloe has opened her new shop, Flori, at Cincinnati Premium Outlets in Monroe. The store carries a variety of clothing, hats, bags, sunglasses, accessories and more. Shalloe's grandparents ran the Florence's store in Hamilton and she named her store after her great grandmother Florence. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

Melanie Shalloe has opened her new shop, Flori, at Cincinnati Premium Outlets in Monroe. The store carries a variety of clothing, hats, bags, sunglasses, accessories and more. Shalloe's grandparents ran the Florence's store in Hamilton and she named her store after her great grandmother Florence. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

Combined ShapeCaption
Melanie Shalloe has opened her new shop, Flori, at Cincinnati Premium Outlets in Monroe. The store carries a variety of clothing, hats, bags, sunglasses, accessories and more. Shalloe's grandparents ran the Florence's store in Hamilton and she named her store after her great grandmother Florence. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

“Things have been amazing,” Shalloe said. “We have had a really great opening week. This weekend was really busy. I think with the nice weather, we’ve seen a lot of people. We’ve had some great feedback from people who live in the area, and from people who have traveled here from Indiana and Kentucky. We’ve seen a lot of that.”

“In the fall and wintertime, you can expect some winterwear, such as hats, gloves, scarves, and then lots and lots of cardigans, and similar items,” she said.

“The name comes from my great-grandmother, who was named Florence, and she owned boutiques in Hamilton for many, many years called Florence’s, which was eventually owned by my grandparents, who owned them up to around 2000,” Shalloe said. “Flori is short for Florence.”

“It was pretty similar, I would say, to my shop,” she said. “We skipped a generation of the boutique.”

Combined ShapeCaption
Melanie Shalloe has opened her new shop, Flori, at Cincinnati Premium Outlets in Monroe. The store carries a variety of clothing, hats, bags, sunglasses, accessories and more. Shalloe's grandparents ran the Florence's store in Hamilton and she named her store after her great grandmother Florence. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

Melanie Shalloe has opened her new shop, Flori, at Cincinnati Premium Outlets in Monroe. The store carries a variety of clothing, hats, bags, sunglasses, accessories and more. Shalloe's grandparents ran the Florence's store in Hamilton and she named her store after her great grandmother Florence. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

Combined ShapeCaption
Melanie Shalloe has opened her new shop, Flori, at Cincinnati Premium Outlets in Monroe. The store carries a variety of clothing, hats, bags, sunglasses, accessories and more. Shalloe's grandparents ran the Florence's store in Hamilton and she named her store after her great grandmother Florence. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

While Shalloe doesn’t remember Florence’s itself, she said her uncle, Dan Graf, took over her grandparents’ company and transformed it into a Fairfield wholesale company called Watch Us, which sells to many large retailers. Her mother works there, and “I kind-of grew up being part of that company as well,” she said.

Shalloe graduated from Fairfield High School in 2018, and in May from Miami, able to finish early because she took some college classes during high school.

Going from college to immediately operating a store “was a fast transition, but I’m really excited. I was ready for it,” she said.

“If it’s successful there, with Spooky Nook coming in here in Hamilton, with everything happening, it would be great to franchise and have a second location at some point right here in Hamilton again,” Traub said.

ExploreSpooky Nook progress in Hamilton: Hotel area work continues, showers being installed in sports complex
Combined ShapeCaption
Melanie Shalloe has opened her new shop, Flori, at Cincinnati Premium Outlets in Monroe. The store carries a variety of clothing, hats, bags, sunglasses, accessories and more. Shalloe's grandparents ran the Florence's store in Hamilton and she named her store after her great grandmother Florence. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

Melanie Shalloe has opened her new shop, Flori, at Cincinnati Premium Outlets in Monroe. The store carries a variety of clothing, hats, bags, sunglasses, accessories and more. Shalloe's grandparents ran the Florence's store in Hamilton and she named her store after her great grandmother Florence. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

Combined ShapeCaption
Melanie Shalloe has opened her new shop, Flori, at Cincinnati Premium Outlets in Monroe. The store carries a variety of clothing, hats, bags, sunglasses, accessories and more. Shalloe's grandparents ran the Florence's store in Hamilton and she named her store after her great grandmother Florence. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

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