Raquel Koff pulled a photograph of herself off the printer in horror, shooting her giggling daughter an exaggerated stink eye. The photograph was of herself in the early ’90s. She donned a head-to-toe denim get-up, and from the looks of the photo, she was a master of the bedazzler. The photograph resurfaced as the Rodeo Drive team gathered photographs of the store and its customers from the ’90s in celebration of the company’s 23rd anniversary.Then and now, Raquel is the kind of up-to-the-minute “it girl” who can pull off a look no matter how bold. She runs her business side-by-side with her daughter, Michelle Tasman, in Holiday Manor. They manage a company based on high quality couture, a passion for their customers and a lighthearted sense of humor that puts smiles on their customers’ faces. The two admit that fashion simply runs in their blood and always has – starting with Raquel’s mother.
Michelle describes, “My grandmother is the ultimate fashionista. That way of living has trickled down to my mother, myself and now my two diva children who don’t leave the house unless they are fully dressed with their nails done, hair done and their perfume on.”
Three generations of impeccable style and cunning business savvy make for an unstoppable force. The trio teamed up after Raquel went through a divorce and decided to open Rodeo Drive with her (since retired) friend Irene Hacker.
The Rodeo girls decided one thing would remain on the forefront: change. Right off the bat, the gals exhibited this contemporary mindset by being one of the first stores in Louisville to utilize computers. That same drive to be ahead is propelling them forward to this day.
“Now with the launching of the website, our biggest competitor is not local business,” Michelle attests. “I think there’s a place for everyone in Louisville. I think everyone is different and has their own personality, so at this point, we are competing with national online brands.”
With eyes set to the sky, these ladies remain strongly rooted in the community and engaged in philanthropy. Whether it be flat donations or sharing a percentage of trunk show profits, Rodeo Drive strongly supports the Churchill Downs Backside Learning Center as it provides educational opportunities and allocates resources to equine workers and their families. The opportunities to take part in these efforts are plentiful as Rodeo Drive hosts trunk shows and events regularly.
“We are in it for the long haul,” Michelle asserts. “We want longterm relationships with our customers. We want you to even feel comfortable bringing a piece in from another store, whether it be jeans or a dress, and we will help you finish the outfit.” From there, customers can take advantage of in-store alterations.
Whether you’re shopping for a gala or for girls’ night, Rodeo has you covered. After 23 years of business, Rodeo Drive has become a Louisville staple we can all enjoy. Michelle says it best: “We are a one stop shop – it’s rodeo drive thru!”
For more information, visit shoprodeodrive.com or call 502.425.8999.