Roman & Leo Boys Apparel & Accessories
Roman & Leo All-Boys Boutique Brings Snazzy Clothes to New Spark Apartments Location
Photographer / Michael Durr
About 10 years ago, when Angela and Justin Castelli were pregnant with a baby boy, they headed to the mall, eager to pick out some spiffy duds for their newborn. But the merchandise they found left them underwhelmed.
“We didn’t want ducks, trucks, teddy bears and sailboats,” Angela says. “Justin and I looked at each other and said, ‘Are these the only options for boy clothes?’”
Angela shopped online, choosing more modern styles. Once her son, Roman, was born, everywhere she went, people commented on his snazzy clothes. It seemed others appreciated Angela’s eye for style, too. All the comments sparked an idea.
“What if I opened an all-boys boutique?” she thought. But after doing some research and finding zero boys boutiques in existence, she let the idea fizzle.
“I figured there must not be any demand for it,” says Angela, an 11-year resident of Fishers. In 2013, however, she suffered a benign brain tumor, a health scare that caused her to reconsider the idea.
“Life’s too short,” her husband told her. “You need to open that boutique you’ve been taking about for so long.”
At first, her dream was trounced upon by naysayers who insisted an all-boys clothing store wouldn’t fly. Angela remained undeterred, though, and in 2013 launched Roman & Leo Boys Apparel & Accessories as an online store. Named after her sons, a physical location opened in June 2014 in the Nickel Plate District. Now, more than five years later, her brand is not only surviving but thriving.
“Everyday moms thank me for thinking of boys and creating a location where moms can be excited to shop for items just for boys,” Angela says.
Those items consist of trendy styles like unique graphic tees, skinny pants for boys, and bandana bibs. They also carry fun accessories like SnapBack caps, slouch beanies, bow ties and suspenders. Color-wise, they stock lots of blacks, whites and greys, rather than the traditional mint greens, baby blues and yellows that are reserved for boys.
Roman & Leo carries musically inspired pieces in the form of throwback retro tees of ACDC, The Beatles and Tupac. Many tees are tri-blend, which means that they’re super soft and comfy.
“Anything Indiana sells well,” Angela says. For instance, one year she had Colts pajamas that sold out in a day. The “with them Indiana boys on an Indiana night” tee (referencing Tom Petty lyrics) is also wildly popular.
“Items in our shop sell out quickly, but being a boutique, we don’t want to carry hundreds of the same thing because then it’s not unique,” Angela says.
When she was pregnant with her third child, customers asked if she gave birth to a daughter, would she change the store to 50% girl merchandise.
“I would never do that. Our shoppers love this store because it’s just for boys,” says Angela, noting that though she doesn’t specifically carry anything for girls, that doesn’t stop moms from shopping for their daughters.
“They’ll put their girls in little graphic tees and cardigans with leggings and a black headband,” Angela says. “They don’t necessarily want the pink and purple all the time, so my store offers an alternative style that’s tomboy chic.”
Roman & Leo, the only boys boutique in the Midwest, carries up to size 8.
“What we’ve found is that once boys get into school, many want to wear only athletic apparel,” Angela says. “I’m in the thick of it now with my oldest sons. We don’t carry athletic apparel styles. Our bread-and-butter is baby and toddler wear.”
Open Tuesday through Friday from 10-5 and Saturday from 10-2, Angela chose store hours that are conducive for moms to shop while their little ones are in daycare or preschool. Online orders come through during all hours of the night when moms have down time.
“Social media is such a mom network because they post pics of their kids and if a friend asks where they got a piece of clothing, they’ll hop online and purchase it,” says Angela, noting that they offer an option for in-store pick-up too.
Recently, Roman & Leo moved to its new location on the first floor of the Spark Apartments in Fishers. After outgrowing their first location on 116th Street, they’ve doubled their space, allowing for more inventory, and more unique styles for boys. They are now located at 8800 North Street #115. For more information, give them a call at 317-922-5758 or visit them online at romanandleo.com.