STYLE PROFILES: THE FASHIONABLY LOCAL BOUTIQUE OWNER

One of the major perks to shopping local is the interaction shoppers have with the small business owner.  Boutique owners typically spend the majority of their days in their shops, unless they are at market.  They know everything about their inventory, having personally selected and purchased each piece, so they have a vested interest in keeping their customers happy and loyal.  Because of this, the customer service is usually excellent, and the perks of being a loyal customer are fabulous. With this in mind, get to know your local boutique owners because they certainly want to get to know you!

We visited with a few of our favorite local boutique owners and will feature a different one every other week!  Each owner would love for you to stop in after you learn a little more to say hello. There may be a surprise perk in it for you!

KRISTIN MAYER:  THE SPOTTED PIG

OPENED: November 3, 2016

What made you decide to open your shop?  I opened my shop because I really wanted to bring to St.Louis an eclectic mix of my different acquired styles.  I wanted to share my passion of finding unique one of kind gifts that come from all over.  It has always been a dream of mine to put all the mix of styles I have into one place.  For the St. Louis customer to be able to learn to decorate their lives and home exactly how they want, free!

What is the biggest thing you’ve learned since opening The Spotted Pig?  I think the biggest task I have learned since opening my shop is that you cannot stress about having things perfect.  You do the best you can, and you follow your brand.  You stick to what makes your heart sing and you be you and stay true to you!
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What words do you live by?  Dr. Suess, “ There is no one alive who is you-er than you” Be you, and love that person, for it is the only person you have to face every day.
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What inspires you?  Meeting new people every day inspires me.  Constantly staying vulnerable to life to learn new things from any person or situation that comes my way.  My inspirations in the decorating world are ethnic varieties, different styles of different cultures…..and color, simply put color inspires me!
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What is your favorite item in the shop?  The Consuela bags! These are just awesome for everyday, the pool, the beach, the gym, everywhere because you just can’t ruin them!!! I need this in my life!

One thing in your shop that everyone should have in their home:  Some sort of a pig! Whatever it is, from a picture to a statue to a trinket tray, I promise, it will make you smile!

What is your favorite thing about your job?  That is easy! I enjoy seeing customers love the items that I’ve found for them.  Seeing them get as excited as I do when they spot that perfect household decor or that cool gift for someone they love!! My customers are what make every day of hard work pay off!
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Advice you would give someone wanting to open a boutique:  Don’t ever think you will know all the in’s and out’s.  LOL …..there is no rhyme or reason in retail….it’s hard work but making sure you remind yourself everyday why you opened keeps you in the moment. Always listen to your customers, and stay true to yourself!

RACHEL FORST:  RACHEL’S GROVE

OPENED: March 7th, 2015

What made you decide to open your shop?  My sister and nieces had talked about opening a women’s clothing boutique for several years. When my oldest headed off to college, the time seemed right. It was a boutique or law school. We picked a boutique!

Have you always loved fashion?  I’ve always been interested in what my friends and family were wearing, but with a twist. For example, one of my sorority formal dresses in college was an off-the-shoulder dress like everyone else was wearing, but mine was in a gorgeous royal blue and white print with the off-shoulder ruffle done in the contrasting white and royal blue print. I did not look like everyone else!

What was your favorite piece of clothing when you were growing up?  A tee shirt that said, “Here comes trouble!”

What is the oldest item of clothing that you own?   I still own the dress that I wore to our wedding rehearsal dinner. We got married in Orlando, where I am from. My husband’s parents hosted a luau at my mother’s home. The dress is a deep kelly green with fuchsia and gold crabs on it. It was fun and casual, very Florida, and set the right tone for our event. It doesn’t fit me anymore, but I can’t bear to throw it out!

Favorite item of clothing your currently own:  Any of my Jude Connally dresses. They are colorful and easy to wear. They don’t wrinkle and are machine washable.

What is your favorite item in the store right now?  My favorite item in the shop right now is the Southcott Indian Summer tee in coral. It’s made from the softest bamboo, is long-sleeved, has front seem detailing, and is a high-low top. It looks great with white jeans or navy pants.

What is the best part of your job?  I love watching customers come out of the dressing room when they’ve found something they love. Their entire faces light up because they feel so good. That’s the first thing I look at when a customer asks my opinion, her face. What she’s wearing is secondary.

What is your favorite boutique when you travel?  I don’t have a favorite boutique. I love them all!

Favorite destination city to shop? Charleston, South Carolina

Advice you would give someone wanting to open a boutique.  Location, location, location!