Another Shopping Trip

I love to hit boutiques when I travel.  Well, I love to go to boutiques wherever I am.  I spend most days in my own boutique and then I like to visit others when I have a chance.  I guess you could say I’m obsessed.  I also appreciate the curation that happens in a boutique because I know how much merchandise there is to search through before finding the real gems.  Today I’m going to tell you about a couple boutiques that I loved this summer when I was visiting my daughter in Lincoln, Nebraska.

I visited Select Style, a store I hadn’t ever been to.  Wow, the inside was beautiful.  It was the type of store I love, clean, contemporary, minimally furnished with nice light.  I looked at every item on every rack and ended up with a fitting room full.  I decided to not look at price tags and to focus on what I liked instinctually.  Thank goodness my son was patient (it helped that he brought a book).  The owner and her mom were both working.  I just can’t believe I hadn’t stopped in sooner to check it out.  I liked that the store carried labels I hadn’t heard of.  I had heard of some, such as Vince,  Joie and Equipment.  But I was thrilled to see some I wasn’t familiar with such as Lilla P.  I tried on a lot of clothes, came out of the fitting room each time and the ladies gave me lots of feedback.  I felt like they were genuine and not just trying to make a sale.  Oh, and the fitting rooms were beautiful too,  by the way.  I ended up having to labor over which pieces to say no to and still ended up spending more than I’ve ever spent in a store on just myself.  But I felt good that I was supporting a local business owner and a girl that has a passion just like mine.  She had only had her store for two years!  I bought a beautiful black dress by Lilla P, a great red top that I’ll wear once a week, a pair of the most amazing pants by a Danish designer that I definitely didn’t need but fell in love with, and a nice slip that I’ve never heard of the brand of and may have to carry in my own store.

Next I headed to a fave local shoe boutique that I’ve been visiting for several years, Pattino.  I know the owner and she’s worked hard to make the store successful.  I got lucky because she was working the day I stopped in.  I love being able to converse with the person doing the buying and it doesn’t hurt that she has similar taste and wears the same size.  I found a killer pair of sandals that were unique, comfortable and edgy and Italian.  I wanted to buy several pairs plus some jewelry but I was worried about my son telling my husband and I had to be able to fit it all in my suitcase.  Pattino has always carried unique, high quality brands and I know I will always find something I’ll want.

We hit a couple other boutiques while we were in town but they just didn’t compare to the quality and experience in the store.  If you’re ever in Lincoln, Nebraska, make sure you stop into the College View Shopping District.  You won’t be disappointed.

The great thing about the outfit in this picture is that the top is from my boutique, so I’m representing three boutiques in one outfit and that makes me so happy!

Boutiques I Recommend

As a boutique owner, one of my favorite things to do when I travel is visit the small locally owned shops.  It’s always been a passion of mine and inspired me to open a boutique of my own.  I like to see the different ways stores merchandise their products and I love to shop.  It’s always fun to see the same or similar items that I carry in my store in other stores around the country.  How do I find the boutiques that I visit?  Well, I use a number of resources.  First, I google boutiques in _________________(wherever I’m visiting).  Then, when I’m out and about in that city, I use the Around Me app and search boutiques or women’s clothing.  Sometimes I also use Yelp.  After I find a store that looks good, I’ll either look at their Facebook or Instagram or their website because many times I’ll find a great boutique that ends up being out of business or not open when I’m in the area.  Finally, I look for stores that just speak to me, they have to be a small business so if they talk about Small Business Saturday or being locally owned, I’m definitely going there.  I don’t get as excited about stores that have multiple locations.  Sometimes I’ll see that they’ve mentioned brands I’m familiar with so that makes me want to visit as well.  It’s kind of like stalking, but I call it research. On my latest trip to Washington DC I was excited about one boutique because my daughter who lives there had already scouted it out.  But before we went there, she and I visited a super chic little area called Old Town Alexandria in Virginia.  It was just that, a historic town on the Potomac River with lots of street side diners and restaurants as well as big chain retailers like Anthropologie and Francescas.  But nestled in between were some really cute little boutiques.  The few clothing boutiques we walked through made me feel like I was in Candy Land because all the colors were bright and popped.  They had sections of mint, coral, yellow and blue.  Neither my daughter or I are huge fans of those colors and the racks were so stocked full, it wasn’t fun to shop.  We did find a treasure though.  It was a cute little jewelry shop called She’s Unique.  Click here for their Facebook page  I knew it was a win when we stepped in the door onto the Shop Small rug and saw the owner’s dog lying on the floor.  Inside was a beautifully and minimally merchandised collection of delicate and simplistic jewelry pieces.  The necklaces were merchandised so nicely in sets of three showing how to layer them together.  Rings were shown stacked and looked beautiful.  Some of the jewelry was in glass cases, but not all and the touches of candles and decor pieces amongst the jewelry made it look like someone paid attention to how they placed every piece in the store.  My daughter found a great necklace and I found several that I loved.  I bought one that was handmade by a local jewelry designer out of sterling with a feather imprint, very delicate.  Sadly, we didn’t get to spend much time in the area because the shops closed by 6 since it was a week night.  A couple days later we ventured into downtown Georgetown, not far from the university to another old town shopping district.  We stopped in to Violet Click here for their Facebook page (where my daughter had been previously) and I was so impressed.  It was right up my alley with a contemporary layout and decor, clear acrylic benches in the fitting rooms and chic displays on the walls.  I saw some brands I was familiar with and others I had never heard of.  We tried on lots of clothes and found a few pieces that we couldn’t leave without.  I would recommend both of these boutiques if you ever go to the Washington DC area.

Our Local Faves

Adelaide/Clothes Minded Boutique

As a brick and mortar business owner, lunch breaks can be difficult to come by. We might be able to sneak in a quick meal between customers and we might not. As anyone who works knows, packing a lunch and eating cold meals or microwaved meals can get tedious. Allison and I have found some faves and luckily it aligns with our desire to support local. We just love One Stop Nutrition’s Slimmer Smoothie. Allison likes the pinà colada and I like the blueberry/strawberry. They are filling, delicious and since they have a punch card and the 10th smoothie is free, it’s a great deal. It’s become kind of an addiction for us and we hear we’re not alone. Many of our customers say the same thing!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We also love Hook Me Up. Our favorite is the Sandwich Goddess, which we get in a wrap. The great thing is, any sandwich can be made into a wrap or a salad. There are so many choices! The pesto sauce on the wrap is delicious. My main complaint is that it’s way too much food. I can eat half, but then I save the other half for the next day. And the service is unbelievable! They deliver it to our store! We really appreciate that. So, the next time you’re in the 48th and Chandler area, either headed in to our boutique or leaving our boutique, give one of these great places a try. You will not regret it!