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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2014

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In Kids & Family

Julia Killian: fashionable and fun.

In Kids & Family

Appliques are way "in" this season for both women and girls.

In Kids & Family

Paul Frank's famous monkey with a grill full of metal.

In Kids & Family

B'Tween Friends is a girl's dream closet.

B'Tween Friends offers sophisticated cuteness for fashionable girls


Bucking the malls and box stores, fashion ponies from all over the city high tail it --often with Mom in tow -- to "B'tween Friends," a styley boutique for girls ages 7 to 16.

"Girls have so many more choices in clothes these days," says owner Julia Killian, who opened the shop in 1999.

B'Tween Friends, 2223 E. Capitol Dr., hangs the latest designer duds by Roxy, Paul Frank, Sound Girl, Monkey Wear, Junkfood Tees, Un Deux Trois and more. Thankfully, Killian stocks for girls cut from all different cloths -- with sizes from seven to 16 in girls, and junior sizes zero to 13.

Embroidered shirts and jeans, the peasant look, anything appliquéd and camouflage are skipping off the racks this season, and many of the styles are so similar to women's fashions, it's easy to understand how Killian gets the occasional 40-year-old customer.

But Killian says she steers clear of clothing that's too sexy.

"I have halter-tops that are cut to fit an 11-year-old, not a 20-year-old," says Killian, the mother of a 14-year-old daughter.

But with prices much higher than at Target or Kohl's, how does B'Tween Friends compete with cheap-o chains?

"We don't," says Killian. "But we offer quality fabrics and fashions by designers you can't get in those stores."

Killian, a Shorewood resident, grew up all over the country, including Oak Creek. After earning a fashion merchandising degree in New York, she worked for Chapman's, and later as the merchandising manager for Goldmann's Department Store.

"I love Goldmann's," says Killian. "I would still be there, but I wanted to work closer to my daughter."

For many teenaged girls, having access to unlimited free clothing would be the best thing since "Smallville," but Killian says her daughter, Claire, is uninterested in fashion.

"'Tweens' are a tough group," she says.

Their phone number is (414) 964-5701. The B'Tween Friends' Web site is htweenfriends.com.

Talkbacks

OMCreader | April 13, 2006 at 12:15 p.m. (report)

lex said: This is a great store for girl. I shop there with my daughter and the staff is helpful. And being a single dad, they are always willing to accompany her into the fiting rooms to help her try clothes on. And although the prices are more expensive than la Target et al., but you truly get waht you pay for. A real jewel.

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