Archive for Fashion Tips


One of the major perks to shopping local is the interaction shoppers have with the small business owner.  Unless they are at market, boutique owners spend the majority of their days in their shops.  They know everything about their merchandise, having personally selected and purchased each piece, so they have a vested interest in keeping their customers happy.  Because of this, the customer service is 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 our favorite local boutique owners and will feature a different one every other week!  Each owner would love for you to stop in to say hello and there may be a surprise perk in it for you!


OWNER SINCE: January, 2015

Where are you from and have you always loved fashion?

I’m originally from St. Louis.  Since locals talk about where we attended high school, I’ll tell you that I attended CBC (Christian Brothers College prep) high school and then went on to Fontbonne University where I graduated in Fashion Merchandising.  I’ve always loved fashion but I think my grandmother inspired me because she always liked to look well dressed.

How did you come to own the well established and well loved Christopher’s Gift Boutique?

Eleven years ago when I was at Fontbonne University, I interned with Christopher, the founder of Christopher’s.  I’ve always been pretty computer savvy so I helped him with all the IT for the shop.

When I was twenty-seven, I was looking to purchase a salon and spa in the area but that deal didn’t go through, so my mother recommended that I look at Christopher’s.  When I approached Christopher about this he told me that he’d like to get through the 20th anniversary of the shop and then retire at sixty-two.  It took a little over a year for the transition and here I am.  I’ve always loved working in retail so this was the perfect thing for me and it’s been amazing.

What’s been the biggest hurdle taking over the shop?

Christopher’s already had over sixteen thousand subscribers in the database when I bought it!  When I took it over, I really didn’t want to lose this customer base by changing up too much right away.  The challenge is keeping it fresh.  I’ve made some updates but have maintained the overall vibe that the customers love.

What changes have you made since you took ownership?

The first thing I did was to update the bathroom and redo the front counters to make the shop more open and inviting.  Then on May 5th of this year we added a new boutique room that has more space for clothing and now includes men’s lines.  We have about eight hundred additional square feet from a space that was formerly an inventory stock room.

Our vision for this new space is to introduce new things while continuing to have our two core clothing lines, Life is Good and Tommy Bahama.  In the seasons to come we’ll be going to new locations overseas in search of unique things at different price points.

Why is Christopher’s THE place to kick off the holiday season?

We love decorating the shop for all of the holidays but our biggest event of the year is our annual holiday open house which is coming up on November 2nd. It takes about five weeks to turn the shop into a winter wonderland.  It grows bigger each year and right now our off-site warehouse is packed to the gills with Christmas and holiday merchandise.  We have so many ornaments!  We always get an amazing attendance and this year promises to be no different.

You are invited to Christopher’s Holiday Open House on Nov. 2nd!

What are the big sellers for the holidays?

The gourmet, hand cut soaps from Primal Elements are a huge seller for us.  This is a beautiful line from Laguna Beach, CA that comes to us in loaves so we have to hand cut and wrap them.  To prepare for our events it becomes a family business with everyone cutting and wrapping the soaps.

We also sell a lot of candles during the holidays.  Our Trapp candles are the biggest seller.  Other items that people come specifically to us for are the Mariposa line of home gifts, Olivia Riegel crystal frames, and the jewelry line Alex and Ani.  We have the largest supply in town of Alex and Ani so we have a custom designed counter display for our collection.

Tell us about Christopher’s loyalty rewards program.

Anyone can get Christopher’s rewards by simply adding their name, email and birthday to our mailing list.  Customers will then automatically receive a 25% off coupon each month for any regular priced item in an email. Click here to sign up:

What’s your favorite thing in the store?

Probably our Mariposa gifts.  I love this beautiful line!

We hear that you have other ventures.  Tell us about them.

My family owns Compi Distributors Inc. which is a wholesale cabinet and fixture distributor.  I still work in the family business at least once a week and sometimes up to three times a week. I also have an online store called (MA stands for Mark Anthony, Mark’s first and middle name) and four months ago I bought the St. Louis Salon Spa in Town and Country.  It’s been around for about twenty-five years and I’m the sixth owner.  We’ve just completed revamping and redecorating it.  It’s a full service spa and has a little boutique up front that offers M.A. Gifts.

Wow!  Is there anything else on your bucket list?

The restaurant business!  I like to experiment with food and be creative so I’d love to own a restaurant.  Maybe within the next three years I’ll make it happen.  My father loved to cook so I got that from him.  Oh, and I’ve also always wanted to open a car wash!  My original idea was to have a salon and spa with a car wash.  We actually just started offering car washes at St. Louis Spa for customers since we are right next to a Waterway car wash and have partnered with them.

What’s one thing that’s surprising about you?

I was a techie and computer geek in my early days.  At one point in time I had thirty-two phones and seven PCs in my bedroom.

What’s the oldest piece of clothing you own?

I have a pair of Burberry cuff-links that my grandmother gave me in high school that I’ll never get rid of.

What advice would you give a budding boutique owner?

I’d tell them that it’s not easy to do this, but if you have a positive mindset, you’ll always succeed.  You have to put in the hours and have the drive, but a positive outlook is key.


OWNER SINCE: October 23rd, 2017

What led you to buy the fabulous, and “cult favorite” Never Enough Boutique:

In 1992, I began working for Panera Bread when it was just a small, local company called Saint Louis Bread Company.  I worked for the original owners in the marketing department.  I grew up with the company, and ultimately became responsible for brand strategy and the development of ad campaigns.  In my tenure there, the company grew from ten stores to over three thousand.  It was an amazing experience for me.

I was with Panera for almost twenty-five years, and it wasn’t my choice to leave.  When I did, I took some time to decide what I wanted to do next.  Another corporate job just wasn’t appealing to me. I knew I wanted to do something close to home, and where I could make decisions without having to go up and down the corporate ladder.  I also traveled extensively with my previous job, so I wanted to be more present for my family.  Doing something entrepreneurial appealed to me, but I didn’t have the time or flexibility to start a brand new business.

With all of this in mind, I began working with a business broker who led me to Never Enough Boutique. The original owners, sisters Ann Meyer and Chris Conley, had listed the shop. I’d never been there! I visited as a customer and spent some time with Ann and Chris.  I was intrigued with their way of running the business.  They did incredibly well for being open only three days a week and five hours a day, plus they had an amazing following.  I looked at it from a business perspective and saw an opportunity to grow the business.

What has changed at Never Enough Boutique now that you own it?

It was always a successful store so I haven’t changed the look or the selection of amazing lines that the shop carries, but I thought, what could make this business better?  The limited hours of operation meant that many people didn’t have access to it.  Women with full time jobs couldn’t shop there, so right off the bat I made that change.  I went from fifteen hours a week to thirty-five and now I’m up to forty hours and six days a week.  I just added Sunday hours!  I really wanted to expose more people to the shop because it’s an affordable boutique with fabulous styles for everyone. Overall though, the shop has the same vibe as before.

How would you describe Never Enough and it’s demographic?

The core demographic is made up of women like us in their forties and fifties. My customers want to look on trend, but don’t want to be seen as trying too hard or trying to be younger than they are.  My goal is to have something that appeals to women of all ages. Shoppers can bring their moms and their daughters – and everyone can find something that they love!  Our amazing selection of jewelry especially appeals to everyone.  It’s important to me that everyone feel welcome here.

What’s the hottest thing in the store right now?

Denim has always been a staple for Never Enough, but we have some new, fun styles in the store right now.  Flared, high waist jeans look great on everyone.  They make your legs look longer and suck the tummy in.   We also have fabulous booties with animal prints.  If you put on basic denim with a cute top and rock some cool booties, your whole outfit is made.

What is your personal style?

I don’t have a specific style. I love clothes, and have always been a bit ‘all over the place’ – I love classics, and vintage… and bohemian.  I love whimsical prints and have added a little of that look in the shop. I’ve also tried to add more things that are office appropriate.

Has your style changed over the past year?

I used to wear a lot of skirts and dresses when I worked in the corporate environment – it was just easy.  When I went to market for the first time with the previous owners, Ann and Chris, I kept wanting to buy skirts even though they were skeptical.  They were right!  Those skirts ended up on the sale rack! Now I wear what’s in the shop…all of us at Never Enough are walking mannequins. It’s fun for us and it really helps us sell the clothes.

What is the oldest piece of clothing that you own?

I have a pair of Frye Harness Boots that I bought a long time ago at The Women’s Closet Exchange.** The boots were brand new and never worn!  I’ve had them resoled, re-heeled and reconditioned throughout the years, but they are still pretty beat up.  I continue to wear them because they are so comfortable and still look amazing with everything.

** The Women’s Closet Exchange is now closed and formerly owned by Sue McCarthy.  Sue currently owns The Vault Luxury Resale with her two daughters, Diana Ford and Laura Maurice.

What’s the biggest thing that you’ve learned as a boutique owner?

You have to get comfortable with unpredictability.  It’s a big difference to go from working for a company with a steady paycheck, vacation time, and all the benefits, and then making the switch to owning your own business. You are at the mercy of our unpredictable weather, (try selling sweaters when it’s still 90 degrees in October!), competitors, online shopping, and so many other variables that are out of your control.  You have to learn to be okay with that and focus on the things that you do have control over.  You can’t let it get you down.

What advice would you give someone wanting to own a boutique?

If you are buying an existing boutique, you really have to dig through the financials to find out how the business performs.  If you don’t have the knowledge to do that yourself, then you really should hire a CPA and an attorney.  A cute shop may seem super fun to own, but at the end of the day, there’s rent, labor and all of the operating costs.  Understanding what’s driven the profits and losses of the business you are buying is crucial.

Fortunately, the transition was a little easier for me because key members of the original staff stayed, and they have been incredibly helpful!  I think the relationship part of this business is important, so knowing your customer is a key piece to its success.  I didn’t have that knowledge coming into it but the amazing staff members that transitioned, and stayed with me, have been invaluable.  They have my back, they offer suggestions, and they’ve been incredibly kind and patient.

If you had unlimited time, what else would you want to do?

My husband is an architect and we recently bought a beautiful, mid-century, modern, home that was meticulously preserved.  I love architecture and interior design, so I could see myself running a resale interiors place with home accents and furniture from the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s eras.  I love the whole concept of what’s old is new again, plus, things were much better quality back then!

A personal invitation from Lisa:

I wasn’t a boutique shopper before I owned Never Enough, not only because I didn’t have the time, but also because I felt intimidated when I walked into them.   Now, as a shop owner, my mission is to help you feel welcome and comfortable browsing without the pressure to buy.  I’d like to personally invite you to come in and check out the shop. If you don’t find anything, we hope you had a nice visit, and maybe we’ll be on your radar the next time!

Jennifer & Lois Geschke: J.A. WHITNEY

OWNERS SINCE: June, 2011 (originally opened in 1994)

What inspired you to buy J.A. Whitney?

Jennifer:  I was inspired to do it because I love shopping, especially buying gifts for others. I’ve always wanted to own a gift boutique.  I’d been working as an attorney in commercial litigation and was ready to make a change. In January of 2011, I visited the store with a friend and told her that I wished I could own a store like J.A. Whitney.  Both my mom and I had always been loyal customers of the shop.  Less than a month later the owners sent an email to all of their customers saying that the store was for sale. I immediately called my mom to see if I could drag her out of retirement and then proceeded to set up a meeting with the store owners.

Lois:  Jennifer called me within 30 seconds after receiving that email!  We talked about it and I thought, we just may be able to swing this!  The timing was perfect because I’d just retired after twenty four years of working in an administrative position in the Clayton school district.

How has J.A. Whitney changed under your ownership?

Jennifer: My mom and I are the third owners of J.A. Whitney, which celebrates twenty-five years in April of 2019. The store has evolved over time and with new owners but we’ve made it our own since taking it over.  We had a vision, and the store really needed a face lift, so we closed the shop in August and September of 2017 and completely renovated it. It’s more functional and spacious. Our biggest complement is when a customer comes in and says the store makes them happy.  We love hearing that!

What specific roles do each of you have for the shop?

Lois:  I handle most of the back office things such as H.R., payroll and special orders.

Jennifer:  I run the day to day within the store but both of us go on the buying trips because it helps to have two people with two different viewpoints buying for the store.  There are times when I say no way to something and she pushes for it.  It may take a little while but it usually sells like gangbusters.  That’s when my mom says her favorite phrase, “You’re welcome.” 

What is your favorite thing about owning a store?

Jennifer: We’ve always been close so we love that we get to work with each other but we also get to work with an amazing group of women on our staff.  Most them have been here since the beginning, and a couple of the women have been here since the original owner.  We don’t have a big turnover so it’s a pretty tight knit group that we have.  There is so much creativity and our staff has such a great rapport with our customers, many of whom have been coming since 1994!

What is your favorite item in the store?

The piggy bank has been the top item since we opened and we still have the traditional best selling items but we’ve mixed in new and exciting gift items.  The big thing now is the clear bags with the vinyl monograms.  Many stadiums and concert venues are requiring them so they’ll be a staple for most people.

I also really love our wraps and lightweight bamboo ponchos that can be personalized.  They come in many colors and pair with anything. They’re always a best seller and make a great gift.

Lois:  I love the Mariposa line which is made from recycled aluminum.  It looks elegant but you don’t have to polish it like silver.  It’s my go to gift when I’m invited to a shower or wedding.

What would you be doing if you weren’t a shop owner?

Jennifer:  Something travel related.  I love to travel and explore.

Lois:  I love to travel too but I get to do more than Jennifer because she runs the store day to day.

What’s your favorite place to shop outside of St. Louis?

Jennifer: We both love Franklin, Tennessee just outside of Nashville.  It has the coolest little downtown area with one little strip that has all the cutest local places that we visit every time we go.

What advice would you give to someone wanting to open a boutique?

Jennifer: It will always be a work in progress.  We discover new ways of doing things all of the time and we are always trying to improve.  That never stops.  I don’t think any new shop owner knows going into it just how much time it will take.  It’s 24 / 7 which I love, but I’m always thinking of the store, and we work all the holidays.  Christmas Eve is no longer a relaxing day at home.   It’s fun, but you are working a lot of hours.  Going to market is also hard work because there is a lot of ground you have to cover in a small amount of time, and so many decisions you have to make on the spot.  I work harder and more hours than I ever did as an attorney but I love it and I wouldn’t go back.

Lois:  You have to always look for new things.  Our core group of customers want to see new things every time they come in.



How did you get started in the business?

I’m from Kirkwood, Missouri and for 10 years prior to opening Cat’s Meow I had a home embroidery business.  By the time I opened the shop, I had a good clientele base but I had no idea that the business would take off like it did.  When we first opened we had only half of the space.  When the other half became available within a year we purchased that in 2008.

As the business grew I just trusted my gut. I could only handle so many custom orders at once, and many customers wanted gifts that they could walk out the door with, so we started bringing in candles and jewelry that I found at market.   The shop has evolved from there, and as I look back, it’s amazing how much we underestimated how well the store would do.

How did you come up with the name?

When I was growing up everyone called me Cat, so the shop’s name is derived from that.  I named the store Cat’s Meow because the term means “the best,” even though people often think it’s a cat themed store.

What is the favorite part of your job?

I love sourcing new and innovative things for the shop and then seeing them sell.  I also feel incredibly lucky to be working with the best people. I think one of my greatest assets is my amazing staff, three of whom have been with me since the beginning.

Did you have doubts about moving to a new location?

I went back and forth, but in the end, it was a leap of faith.  We wanted to grow and add new items but we couldn’t do it in the other location.  There just wasn’t room.  The move has been a great decision because we’ve been rockin’ it since day one.  I think people feel more comfortable to spread out and shop.  The expanded space has given us the chance to add more clothing, handbags and new items such as the custom laser engraved merchandise.

Tell us about your collaboration with catstudio for their St. Louis design.

We started carrying catstudio merchandise a couple of years ago and asked them to do a Saint Louis pillow.  They said they had a preliminary sketch but hadn’t finalized everything.  They sent me their preliminary design and I realized that they didn’t highlight the things that Saint Louis locals know and love.  Anyone can go online and research a city but unless they talk to a local, they won’t get the full picture.  Their design didn’t feature The Hill, Ted Drewes, The City Museum or the image of a fleur de lis.  They also didn’t have a recognizable icon for the zoo or any representation of the St. Louis Cardinals.  Their design focused more on riverboats and the blues and they still had the old football stadium on there.  I offered to help them with the design so we went back and forth and finally came up with the finalized product.  (see below)

What would you do if you didn’t have a shop:

I’d be doing sales.  That’s where my comfort zone is, but really, this is my dream come true.   If 20 years ago someone had told me that I was going to have a big shop and sell clothing, I’m not sure I’d have believed it.

What are you most excited about in the shop?

It’s hard for me to say because we have added so many amazing things with our bigger location.  But if it came down to one thing, I guess I’m most excited about our new laser engraved products. I did a lot of research on this process and realized that we could do so many customized things with it.  We laser engrave picture frames, drink tumblers, decorative serving trays and we cut lights featuring all the Sororities for back to school.  The process works on all kinds of surfaces such as wood, plastic, glass and metal and the finished product is amazing.

What is your demographic?

We have everything from the monogrammed, preppy look to the camo, trendy look.  Originally, I thought we had to have a defined style in the shop, but then I realized that some days I want to wear the pink, preppy look and other days I want to wear the hip, trendy look.  I think many of our customers are the same.  Our demographic is for all walks of life.  We have gifts for every age and special occasion.

How do you combat online shopping?

We do ship items, and we’d like to do more online with our site, but we hope that people realize the positive impact a small business has on it’s community.  From hiring local people to donating to local causes, small businesses give back.  I don’t think a whole lot of those online places are donating to our local charities.  Additionally, when you order a personalized item online, you never know what you are going to get.  I’ve had so many people come in disappointed with the quality of the items they’ve received online.  A lot of people think that monogramming is a simple machine where you just push a button.  There are so many variations that come in to play with fabric, color and fonts that may not work well for what someone wants.  We take the time to guide our customers through the design process because we want our customers to be happy with our finished product.

What advice would you give anyone wanting to own a boutique?

I think you have to trust your gut.  When you start second guessing yourself you’ll start making more mistakes.


OWNER SINCE: May 31st, 2016

Have you always loved fashion?

My mom and dad both love fashion and each has inspired me in different ways.  My mom really loves jewelry which is why I gravitate to jewelry and accessories first.  I’d go through her jewelry boxes when I was little.  She had a non-traditional style that I consider very gypsy-bohemian.  She was very much her own person which I appreciate more today than back then.  She’d discover these obscure pop-up places and flea markets and we’d dig through and find amazing things.

My dad was a shopper and very into fashion.  I remember him telling me that someday I’d become a buyer.  At the time, I didn’t know what that meant, so when he explained it to me I thought, yes I’d like to do that!

How did you get started in the business?

When I was fifteen Melanie Bascom (owner of the former Melanie’s Boutique) hired me to work in her Columbia, Missouri shop. I grew up in Columbia and she had a boutique there in addition to the one in Frontenac.  I eventually moved to St. Louis and worked in her store here. When I moved to Minnesota with my husband, Melanie referred me to the owner of a local shop that had four locations and had been in business for over sixty years.  I worked at that shop for fourteen years as the apparel and accessories buyer and learned a lot about the business during that time.

When Melanie decided to retire she contacted me and asked if I’d take over her shop.  Being a shop owner was my dream, so my husband and I decided to move along with our daughter back to St. Louis and work for her during the transition.  I didn’t end up buying Melanie’s and I had to quickly switch gears and come up with a plan B.  I’d been looking at the space where my shop is currently to move Melanie’s so this is how Shine came about.

The customers of Melanie’s knew me as the person who was taking over the shop, so when it closed and I opened, there was some confusion. I’ve had to work really hard to be true to Shine but not disappoint the customers that we’ve gained from Melanie’s.

I’m incredibly grateful that the wonderful women who worked at Melanie’s are now working at Shine with me.  I’ve known these ladies for most of my life, so I really trust them. The were invaluable during the transition.

What is the idea behind the name Shine?

Because of the change in situation, I had to act fast.  Coming up with a name is like getting a tattoo.  You really want to think it through before you do it.  Unfortunately I didn’t have the luxury of time, but the name Shine kept coming back to me in my head.  It was important that the name had a positive vibe and it worked because when you feel good, you shine!

What is the favorite part of your job?

When we first moved here my preteen daughter said, “Mom, you are doing your dream job!”  but I don’t think I would have opened my own shop had I not been pushed by the turn of events with Melanie’s.  My favorite part is definitely working with customers.  You really get to know people when they shop with you and I’m definitely a people person.

What are you most excited about with Shine?

The store has been evolving since we opened.  I like to think that we have something for everyone with a mix of price points and styles.  Right now I’m most excited about the pop-ups that we’ve had to showcase local designers.  It’s a win-win because we are supporting each other.  The trunk shows keep things new and fresh in the store.  They give me a great read on what people like and what will sell.  We’ve gotten to test market several of our new lines this way.  Our trunk show with Mark Jenkins Footwear was so successful that we now carry this local brand in the store!

What is your style?

A little bohemian and little gypsy.

What would you be doing if you didn’t own the shop?

I’d still be in retail because I love it and I love working with people. Maybe I’d stand outside dressing rooms and hold people’s babies while they try on clothes and give them style advice.  I guess my title would be “babysitter stylist”.

What is your advice for anyone wanting to open up a boutique?

Even though I’ve worked in retail for most of my life, it’s such a different animal when it’s your own.  I think it’s important to get to know your customers in order to understand what they want.  Keep your head up, because there will be bad days.  Be open to change and be prepared to evolve and grow, all while staying true to who you are as a store.

Sue McCarthy, Diana Ford & Laura Maurice:


The Vault ownership is comprised of Sue McCarthy and her two daughters, Diana Ford and Laura Maurice.  We sat down with Diana to find out a little more about this fashionably local team.

How is the family dynamic with you three working together?

We have fun working together, but when we are at the shop, we are so busy that we don’t often have a lot of time to interact.  People are surprised to find out that we socialize outside of work all the time.  Our families take vacations together and we often have dinner together.

The three of us have very different styles, which is a good thing.  We are surrounded by fabulous things every day and we never argue or compete for them.  Laura recently called me from a closet buyout and said, “There is the most amazing bag here, but, damn it, it’s more your style!”

Do you each have a different role within the business?

My sister, Laura, is our chief curator and also heads up our social media.  She works with our out of town customers and celebrities who have things to sell.  She researches what they have and if it’s worth the trip to secure it.  She is the brand expert and knows the latest and greatest that the top brands have to offer.

I (Diana) am in charge of marketing and events.  When we opened this new store, one of our goals was to have an event space to host events and give back to the community.  The upper level transforms into a fabulous space for things like fashion shows and parties.  Ninety per- cent of what I do is plan our events.  I also organize shopping trips a couple of times a year.

Sue is the boss lady.  She takes care of finances and the big picture.  Whatever direction she wants the business to go is always the right one.

What is the oldest piece of clothing that you own? 

I call it the “rib breaker.”  It’s a velvet Yves Saint Laurent top that I bought in Paris a long time ago.  It’s called a rib breaker because I’d have to break a few ribs to wear it again.  It’s just so pretty that I’ll never get rid of it.

All three of us are purgers by nature so we never hold on to our things.  We know there is something better just around the corner.

How often do you change handbags?

Maybe once every six months.  Seriously, I just don’t have time to think about it!  (Yes, reader, you ARE thinking what we’re thinking. OMG!)

Favorite designer currently? 

It used to be Chanel but now it’s Gucci.  Gucci is just so edgy, hot and retro.  I also love the Nancy Gonzalez crocodile bags which are understated and gorgeous.  Laura has always been a big fan of Gucci.  My mom loves Chanel but carries a Tumi bag every day.  She wants her hands free and prioritizes comfort because she travels so much.

What is the favorite part of your job?

It’s like Christmas every day!  We never know what’s going to walk through that door.  It could be an “it” handbag that is on a huge wait list, or the hottest vintage Gucci tote. It’s something cool every day!  That never gets old!

What advice would you give someone wanting to open a boutique?

You have to have a passion for it.  You have to be ready to work really hard.

If you weren’t doing this what would you be doing? 

Traveling.  I will work for travel.  I used to work for Maritz Corporation so traveling is in my blood.

Laura would be a fantastic food critic if she wasn’t doing this.  Her Instagram feed is filled with her amazing food experiences.

Sue will always be an entrepreneur.  She’s the Dali Lama of business ideas.

How do people find The Vault Luxury Resale?

Word of Mouth.  That’s how we’ve acquired most of our business, particularly in New York, because our existing customers refer us to their friends.  It’s all about trust.  We are trying to get that same momentum in Nashville.  There are so many great closets in Nashville!

We also started Facebook Live about a year ago on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 2 pm central and the exposure has been amazing.  Gucci is following us along with stylists from LA!  These bi-weekly live posts have majorly increased our sales and acquisitions.

Tell us about the Chalkboard of Local Charities on the wall:

We host several events for charitable organizations at The Vault Luxury Resale. We underwrite the costs of food, drink, valet parking and also donate 10% of sales back to them for the evening.  Last season we did nineteen private events and we already have sixteen upcoming events on the calendar.  In just four years we’ve given over $100,000 back to the community.

Recently, Sue and I visited Operation Food Search. They are in dire need of funds during summer break because they are feeding kids that aren’t getting meals at school.  We wanted to help out so we’ve been donating the proceeds from the sale of every 5th or 6th bag to the organization.

On July 19th we announced on Facebook Live that we’ll be raffling off a 2015, classic, Chanel handbag to a lucky winner who buys a Golden Ticket from us.  Tickets are $100 each and ticket sales will be limited.  Our goal is to raise $100,000 for Operation Food Search. The winner will be announced on October 20th!

Good, Better Best and beyond!  

The book, Good Better Best, just released this past spring is about owner Sue McCarthy’s life.  It is a fascinating read and will be officially launched at the shop in early August. The Vault Luxury Resale hosts about two to three public events each season.  Look for one this fall with the perfect combination of fashion and food trucks. To find out more, follow The Vault Luxury Resale on Facebook and Instagram. 


OWNER SINCE: October, 2012

What made you decide to open your own shop?

I’ve worked in retail from the time I turned sixteen but I guess it all started when I was growing up.  My favorite thing was playing “store” in my mom’s closet. My first job in retail during high school was at Plato’s Closet where I became familiar with clothing brands.  I knew I wanted to stay in fashion so I studied fashion merchandising in Los Angeles and Chicago and later managed a store in Columbia, Missouri called Britches while my husband was in Law School.  The store owner taught me so much about owning a boutique.

I had several goals in mind when I decided to open up my own shop.  I wanted it to be for women of all ages and walks of life, to have excellent customer service, and prices that wouldn’t break the bank.  From there, Leopard was born.

Shortly after, when I had my first child, I discovered that finding a work, life balance was difficult and something I had to learn.  Then in May 2015, when I was expecting my second daughter, we opened our second store in St. Charles. The location was perfect and we had staff who wanted to work more hours than we could offer at the one shop, so it was a natural step for us.  For a small business owner, this is a rare thing! I am so grateful for the wonderful, dedicated people who work at Leopard.

What is your favorite thing about owning a boutique?

I love the relationships that I’ve built.  I’ve met so many inspiring, amazing people that walk through my door. My customers have a million other places where they could shop so I’m incredibly grateful that they choose to support Leopard.  I’ll never take this for granted!

What is next for Leopard?

We are excited because our Webster Groves store is about to get remodeled!  We also just started a Leopard blog that has gotten great feedback from our customers and we recently launched our “modeling moms” social media program.  We wanted Leopard’s social media to better reflect our customer base so we decided what better way than to highlight them as models.  We style customers who want to participate, photograph them and put them in our Instagram and Facebook posts.  It’s really been amazing!  We love showing how fabulous our customers look in the clothes.

What is your favorite thing in the store?

I think our Level 99 jeans are my favorite thing.  They fit amazing and we carry so many styles and washes.  (See below).

What advice would you give someone wanting to open a boutique?

I think a person should work in retail before opening their own boutique. It’s important to have an understanding of the hours and the customer service.  As a boutique owner you’ll have to be there working in the shop and getting to know your customers to be successful.

What would you be doing if you didn’t own a shop?

I’d be a personal grocery shopper.  I love grocery stores!   I look at grocery shopping much like regular shopping.  I like to mix it up.  If I’m not at home or at Leopard you can probably find me at the grocery store.  I shop Lucky’s, Aldi’s, Dierbergs, Schnucks, Whole Foods, Straubs, you name it, I’m there!


OWNER SINCE: June 13, 2016

What is the concept behind the name LAUNCH?

The name LAUNCH is inspired from the transitions we all go through in life.  Personal style is very connected to lifestyle changes.  I don’t want to overstate what fashion can do but I believe that you can really elevate your life if you spend an extra five minutes thinking about what you are going to wear each day.  A good first impression can really help launch a person.

Tell us about “LAUNCH Style”?

We are a European focused boutique, but we certainly don’t just carry European lines.  It’s more of a European style point of view.  It’s about standing out rather than fitting in. Of course, there is a spectrum for this because there are ways to stand out by putting on something chic and simple, or by putting on something that is quite different from what everyone is used to.  You can step out a little or you can step out a lot, but it’s definitely about stepping out.   Our top line is Alembika, designed and produced in Israel.  This fabulous designer really knows how to make clothes to fit a woman’s body.

What is LAUNCH’S Demographic?

It’s not about age at LAUNCH.  I just dressed someone who is going to be a freshman in high school and my very best customer is 89 years old.  Typically though, the majority of my customers are going through a lifestyle change and are comfortable trying new looks.  They tend to be about sixty years old, are well traveled, and comfortable with their style.  They believe that self-care is more important than the “beauty is pain” mentality.

What made you open your own boutique?

I grew up in St. Louis and worked as a designer, but I have been in the fashion industry since I was a teenager working retail. I guess my biggest inspiration came from when I worked for about eight years as the sales director for an importing company out of New York.  I sold to big stores on the east and west coast but most of our customers at market were little, independent shops from places in between the coasts.  They were owned by smart women who had experience like mine. I sold our European collections to these ladies but I also got the opportunity to source new lines from Europe.  It really opened up my eyes to how other people dress.  People would always tell me that I should open up my own store but I never wanted to commit. After several years, I had a pretty good picture of how things worked, so I began to think that I’d like to open up my own business. I took a class, started a business plan, and then life took me to this street (Marconi on the Hill) and I saw that SKIF International had a space for rent. I’d worked with many of the designers from SKIF previously so all those things came together for me and here I am!

Have you always loved fashion?

I’ve always loved style.  This included make-up, accessories and dressing up.  I was a theater kid and I liked to stand out.  In my sophomore year high school photo I added a little scarf around my neck because I knew no one else would.  I loved performing on stage and playing music. I still play my guitar and sing.  My favorite thing to do is to sit on my front porch with my guitar and sing with anyone who wants to.  I can sing with you both!  I’m not kidding. Let’s do it!

What is the favorite part of your job?

I love dressing people!  It’s fun to have my customers come in and play dress up!  I like to experiment with different looks and put two pieces together that don’t necessarily go.  Sometime the look flops but sometimes it’s awesome!

I also love to do events here and am always open to it.  We did the Feminine Cartel fashion show last year with models, catering, designers and plan to do it again in October.  It’s a shopping event for women who want to be the first to buy the best.  We showcase labels from women all over.

What is your advice for anyone wanting to start a boutique?

If you put a good forty hours a week in anywhere you’ll start to see the benefits. If you keep at it your efforts will pay off because work done well isn’t wasted.  The women who survive in this business work their sales floor.  There are no shortcuts. You have to be here to know your customers and how the clothes look on them.


OWNER SINCE: June 6, 1996

The Designing Block has been a fixture on Clayton Road for the last twenty two years, but on June 30th, owner Susan Block will take her shop in a new direction.  We sat down with Susan to take a look back and to find out what’s in store for her.

How did idea of The Designing Block come about?

Prior to opening the shop, I’d been doing interior design for about 16 years .  I was looking at the Clayton Road space with a friend who wanted to open an antique store.  They decided against it but I thought, why don’t I buy the building and open a store myself?  I called my husband, who was out of town at the time, and told him my idea. He thought I was crazy! I had no business plan and no idea what I was going to sell, but things just kind of fell into place.  The shop just celebrated twenty two years on June 6th!

What is next for you?

I make my decisions with gut feelings just like when I opened the shop. Recently my accountant decided to retire and asked me when I planned to retire. Without much thought, I said, June 30th.  It was a gut feeling! Really it’s more of a semi-retirement and my vision for the shop is ongoing.  It will be open by appointment only but I’ll continue to do interior design and sell some home accents.

I’ll also be using it as a studio to paint because I’ve wanted to be a painter from the time I was little.  I have a degree in fine arts and have been taking more painting classes.  I like to paint abstracts with both oil and acrylic, but recently I’ve taken up watercolors.  I really enjoy being creative and my creativity is a process, not limited to one direction.   I like to keep my thoughts fluid when I work because things change and another idea may make the piece even better.

My husband Terry and I are also opening a boutique hotel in Salyulita, Mexico.  Both of our children have boutique hotels right on the water there.  Ours will have about twenty to thirty rooms and I’ll be working on renovating and decorating that.

Susan’s work below: from top left is a three dimensional totem, top right, watercolor hummingbird, bottom two pieces are acrylic abstract on wrapped canvas.

What is your favorite memory from the shop?

A highlight for me was when I spent two days with Iris Apfel while she was in town for the Fashion Fund event.  I picked her up from the airport, shuttled her around town and she visited the shop! It was amazing to have one on one time with this amazing fashion icon!

We know that you have supported many charitable organizations.  Tell us about some of them.

I’ve done work for about sixty-one charitable organizations in St. Louis over the years.  One year I chaired eleven events and kept getting them confused!  I have two organizations that I’m most passionate about.  First is the St. Louis Zoo. I worked on my first Zoofari in 1979 and I’ve only missed two since then.

I’m also a co-founder of the Spirit of St. Louis Women’s Fund which is a collective, giving organization with over 250 members.  Each year members donate $1200 and the money collected is used to award grands to non-for-profits that operate under a million dollars.  So far we’ve given 2.5 million dollars to the metropolitan area without having any fundraisers!  The impact this organization has to change lives is mind boggling!  The grants have kept several amazing organizations stay in business and have changed so many lives.  The beauty is that we are all equal in our giving so everyone has the same investment and everyone can nominate an organization.  We’ve all learned so much about different charities that we’d never had heard of. With this platform the organizations not only get donations but also potential volunteers.  It’s brilliant!

What advice would you give to anyone wanting to open a local boutique?

You have to realize that you’ll be giving up a lot of things like vacation and personal time because you have to invest a large amount of your time in your business.  In addition, the whole face of retail has changed because people can find anything online. You have to offer an experience and if you can find suppliers that offer lines that can’t be sold online that’s a plus.  It also helps to be savvy with social media.

What is the oldest piece of clothing or accessory that you own?

Almost everything that I own has sentimental value. I keep things as long as possible.  I especially love accessories and I have rings from my childhood because my grandparents never gave us trinkets.  They wanted to give us keepsakes.

What is one thing people don’t know about you?

I’m a collector and “the queen of eclecticism” but everyone knows this.  I guess maybe it’s that I’ve had two life goals since I was very young.  One is to be a woman of achievement and the second is to have a painting in a museum.

Looking at Susan’s amazing life we believe she can check off #1, and after seeing her creative work, we have a very good feeling about #2!



JoAnn Lanigan has been the manager of LIJ Boutique since November 2016.  This past year JoAnn has taken on a much larger role to keep the shop open for owner, Irene Dorantes, who is currently battling Stage 4 ovarian cancer.  While Irene is unable to work at the shop, she still does much of the back office work from home.

In the four years that we’ve known Irene we’ve learned what an amazing woman she is.  She is a positive force, full of zest for life and always willing to help others.  She has the kindest heart, is incredibly optimistic, and loves to work with people.  She would give the shirt off her back to anyone and then ask what more she could do to help.  With this in mind, we asked JoAnn how we can best support Irene.

JoAnn, how can we show support for Irene?

Irene loves her shop and wants it to thrive in her absence.  She has her phone connected to the register so her phone pings when she gets a sale.  She gets so excited and sends me a smiley emoji every time a sale goes through.  So really the best way to show support for Irene is to shop at LIJ Boutique.

Has working with Irene changed your fashion mindset?

I owned a consignment store for about ten years but my style was very conservative and tailored.  My background is in accounting, and before this year, I just did the shop’s inventory.  I was able to free Irene up to do her creative thing because she’s great at playing with the clothing.

Irene eventually pulled me out of my conservative box and still inspires me to try looks that I never would have worn.  She has a very feminine style that is evident in the shop’s French Country chic vibe.  LIJ offers clothing, jewelry, gifts and home decor.

What is your favorite item in the store?

Our floral items and modified cold shoulder items are my favorite. We have adorable summer dresses that look great on anyone!

Tell us about LIJ Boutique and its “Irenian” Style:

LIJ Boutique has evolved over the years.  Irene loves girly pieces so there used to be a lot of items with lace and ruffles in the store.  The shop’s overall vibe is still very Irene (or “Irenian” which is the clever name coined by Ann-Marie) but we now also have amazing foundation pieces like the M.Rena line that is always in stock, cute basic shirts, leggings, plus size pieces, jewelry and home decor.  You can also find LIJ items at Fleur De Chic on Baxter Road across from the Chesterfield Antique Mall.


BoutiqueNAV is all about supporting local, which is why we found a kindred soul in LIJ Boutique’s owner, Irene Dorantes.   This amazing, fashionably local woman is always looking for ways to show support for her community, so we hope you’ll join us in supporting her.  The best way to do this is to stop by LIJ, say hello to JoAnn, and tell her that you are thinking about Irene.  You just may find the perfect thing to take home.  If so, you made Irene’s phone ping, put a smile on her face and helped JoAnn earn a smiley emoji in return. (All this and you didn’t have to give a mouse a cookie.)



What made you decide to open your shop? 

I’ve always loved and understood the retail business and was a merchandiser for a family shoe company. Prior to opening my shop, I started designing soft, comfortable, children’s wear that had French and Spanish phrases on them with corresponding pictures so children could learn phrases in those languages.  I started selling them through trunk shows to test market the idea.

I have three boys, currently ages nine to nineteen.  When my youngest entered Kindergarten, I rented a tiny space near my neighborhood in De Mun and filled it with soft, comfortable, casual pieces that I found at market in New York. We carried about five simple styles of sweatpants, comfortable T-shirts and wraps for women in several colors along with my line for kids.  The name DotDotDash came about as a collaboration with a graphic designer that I was working with.  We threw some names around and that one stuck. It turned out to be serendipitous because I later found out that it spells the letter “U” in Morse code.  When you walk into my shop, I want it to be all about YOU.  Over the years it’s evolved into more of a women’s clothing store.  Two years ago we moved just around the corner from our original store into our larger space right off of De Mun Avenue.

Oldest pieces of clothing that you still own:

I still have a few wraps and sweatpants from lines that I carried at the original store. People always ask me to start carrying them again because they were such great sellers.

Favorite items in the store:

The Roberta Roller Rabbit line is perfect for summer (as seen on Ann-Marie and Alyson below).  The line washes great and always looks amazing.

I also love the Rosemunde line from Denmark and the Lola and Sophie shirts.

Best Part of being a store owner:

The community of people that have become my customers are like family to me.   We love our customers and the neighborhood feeling here in the De Mun area.

Favorite destination to shop:

I love Intermix for their variety and I adore Barney’s New York for their inspiration and real street style.  They also have a great eye for emerging designers.

Advice for any future shop owner:

Start small and sample your product before you open a store.  It’s best to have an established  customer base and grow from there.


OWNER SINCE: April 2009

What made you decide to open your shop? 

After earning my law degree I worked for my family’s business. During that time, I began creating custom, western, belt buckles.  I established quite a customer base that included many celebrity musicians.  Eventually, people began asking if I had other chic, western items to pair with the buckles.  I realized that there was a need, and I had always wanted to open a store with a western theme.  I started small by renting a corner space in my friend, Margaret Spooner’s, shop in Ladue called MACS Designs.  Eventually, the space next door became available so I bought it and opened up Giddyup Jane.  After about two years MACS Designs moved down the street so I took over both spaces and we are still here at that same location.

Jane’s Go-To style:

I typically have on a fabulous pair of cowboy boots (I love Old Gringo) and a Johnny Was shirt with a pair of jeans.  The cool mix of western and boho is classic and never goes out of style.  It works anywhere and any time.

Favorite thing in the store:

The Johnny Was brand is a staple here and our new, superstar label is Xirena.  (See both brands pictured below.) Xirena has the world’s best button down classic cotton, poplin shirts!  We carry several colors which always sell out. They are soft, wash well and have a fabulous fit.

What’s the favorite part of your job:

I love to buy!  When I go to market, I think of my customers and what they would like, not just what I want.  But above all else, everything has to look cute with cowboy boots!  I always keep this in mind, with just a few exceptions.  This helps keep the Giddyup Jane brand consistent.


Giddyup Jane has styles that appeal to all ages, but we don’t necessarily target teens.  We do have some trendy pieces but we carry mostly classic styles for women.  We have amazing jewelry, like the Tat2 line, great handbags in vegan and leather, and wonderful accessories.  Although our vibe is chic western, we carry many great brands that aren’t necessarily western inspired.  We carry staples that are always on “the top items that you should own” list such as, a denim jacket, a white button down blouse, cowboy boots and a great pair of jeans.  You are never too old or too young to have these.

Favorite destination to shop:

When I travel I search out the local western inspired stores like mine. I also love shopping in Soho and the West Village in NYC.  My inspiration for Giddyup Jane is a shop in Durango, Colorado called Eureka’s.  I still visit when I travel there because I know the owner.

Advice you would give a person wanting to open a boutique:

You have to like people. If you don’t want to greet customers with a smile, talk to them, find out a little bit about them, and help them with the clothes, then this isn’t for you.


OWNER SINCE: April 2006

What made you decide to open your shop? 

I was a special education teacher but I’ve always loved the Lilly Pulitzer brand. This shop became available when my husband and I were looking for a small business that we could run as a family business.  My husband was able to keep his other job and still be involved and my girls worked here all through high school and college. My daughters still do some of the back office work remotely because they no longer live in St. Louis.

What is your favorite thing in the shop? 

The Gabby shift is one of my favorite pieces because it’s a style that flatters everyone, no matter what age or body shape.  I also love the new romper style for Spring.  It is adorable!

Is there a piece of clothing that you’ve kept through the years because you love it and can’t let it go? 

Lilly Pulitzer used to do a patchwork pattern that was pieces of fabric sewn like a quilt.  I’ve kept a Lilly patchwork skirt for about 25 years or so because I love it.

What is your favorite part of your job?

The shop makes people happy.  It’s a little piece of sunshine in here – bright and cheery even when it’s not outside!  I just love that!

How do you like being in the Ladue shopping district?

There is a great sense of camaraderie among the local shops here.  We all work together, support each other and participate in events together.  We’ve had this wonderful community of support from day one which is why we are still here.  Our customers are incredibly loyal because they understand that we are a locally owned, family business. We strive to give back as much as possible, which is why we have the customer loyalty program, and we donate and participate in as many charity functions as possible.  We love this community!

What advice would you give someone wanting to open a boutique?

You have to be all in.  I’ve been devoted to this business for 11-1/2 years and, when I’m not in the store, I’m at home working on the store.  I’ve seen a lot of businesses throughout the years that have come and gone and this is the most important key to success.  I do have an amazing staff that has a sense of responsibility and ownership in the store which is also incredibly important.


DIANN BOSWORTH (Hand painted pieces) ~ PATTI PORTER (Florals) ~  CAROL TEMPLE (Interior Design)
OWNERS SINCE: April 2012

What made you decide to open your shop? 

(Patti)  I have a fashion merchandising degree but I didn’t pursue a design career until my kids were in school. At that time I started working for a floral designer in Springfield, IL who inspired me to work with florals.  When I moved to St. Louis, I worked at Summer House, MKS Designs and Three French Hens. Finally I thought, I can do this as a business for myself.

(Carol) I was a teacher but decided to change my career path when my kids went to school.  I took some interior design courses, started my own business and eventually went into business with Diann, who was a sorority sister of mine.  I met Patti because I was one of her floral customers and introduced her to Diann and that’s how we all came together.

(Diann) I was also a teacher but started hand painting my signature black and white checked items on the side when my kids were in school.  I’m inspired by MacKenzie-Childs and add my own signature look to my pieces.  Eventually Carol and I started a business together painting slate roof tiles and then she introduced me to Patti.

How has a collaborative ownership worked?  We all had businesses of our own and came together to blend all of our talents.  Since we all bring something different to the business, we work well together.  None of us would want to do it on our own because we like having each other to bounce ideas off of.  We operate with a checks and balances system and it’s really worked in our favor.  When one of us has an idea, we bring it to the table and receive different points of views. It’s stopped us from making several wrong turns along the way. We travel together and do things socially so we are friends as well as business partners. We think that’s important.

How did you decide to open in Kirkwood?  We almost signed a lease on a different location and Carol said she was having second thoughts, so we didn’t go through with it.  Carol is from Kirkwood and we all loved the neighborhood and the pedestrian friendly vibe so we settled on this location.  It has been the best decision for us.  We have such wonderful, loyal customers.

What is one thing in the shop that everyone should have in their home? 

(Patti) An inviting door floral arrangement or wreath

(Carol) An fun animal print chair

(Diann) A home accent hand painted in black and white check

Advice you would give someone wanting to open a boutique:  Figure out who your customer is going to be and find a location that pairs well with that customer. The shop should also have good vibes, and be a friendly place where people want to hang out.


OPENED: April 2008

What made you decide to open your shop?  I had my “A-hah” moment when I walked through the door of the first Heels Boutique in Chicago owned by my sister-in-law and four of her friends.  I said, “This is what I want to do!”  We looked for a year and a half for a good location and settled on Wildwood, MO.  Originally the shop just carried shoes, handbags and jewelry but we kept adding more and more clothing as time went on.  We celebrated ten years this April!

Have you always loved fashion?  I’ve always loved fashion and was voted “best dressed” at school.  I especially love shoes because when clothes don’t fit you can always get a new pair of shoes!

What is the oldest item of clothing that you own?  I’ve had a pair of black, classic pumps for about 20 years.

Favorite thing in the shop?  Our Mark Jenkins line of shoes!  We could really just be a Mark Jenkins concept store because we sell so many pairs of his shoes!

Favorite part of your job?  My customers.  I just love all the people we’ve met that come shop with us.  I really consider them friends.

Favorite destination to shop?  When I’m on vacation, I really don’t shop, I relax.

The best advice you would give to someone wanting to open a boutique?  Do your homework, assess the risks, but if you really want to do it – go for it!  The most important thing is that you have to be present every day and in touch with your customers.  If you decide to go for it you have to be all in!


OWNER SINCE: December 2017

What made you decide to open your shop?  It goes back to when the store (TLynn’s) was Meka. My daughter and I loved having a girls’ day out, complete with nails, shopping and lunch. When we visited the shop together we could always find styles that worked for both of us. We continued shopping there when Terri Lynn bought it and changed the name.  I have always wanted to own a boutique. Several years ago there was a boutique for sale in Ladue, MO. My husband and I really considered it, but the children were small and the timing wasn’t right. In August of 2017, I meet Terri Lynn when we just happened to be at the same restaurant.  We started talking and she was looking for a partner. I seized the opportunity and became her partner in September 2017. In December 2017 she decided to retire and I became TLynn’s sole owner. My theme for TLynn’s is a “Mother/Daughter Boutique” where mothers and daughters can enjoy a day out together and shop at a boutique where both can find fashionable clothes.

Have you always loved fashion? I have always loved fashion especially shoes and accessories.

What was your favorite piece of clothing when you were growing up?  My favorite was probably my bell bottom jeans.

What is the oldest item of clothing that you own?  A black dress that I bought after I had my daughter.

What is your favorite item in the store right now?  A pair of merlot velvet sneakers with merlot satin laces.

What is the best part of your job?  I’ve always enjoyed working with people, which is why I went into nursing initially. I love working one on one with a customer, helping them pick out the right clothes and accessories for their style. I also really enjoy going to market to shop for the the new and upcoming styles.

What is your favorite boutique when you travel?   B. Williams is a boutique down the street from my daughter in Brentwood, California. I love shopping there because I get to spend time with my daughter and do our two favorite things which are shopping and lunch!

Advice you would give someone wanting to open a boutique.  There will be good days and bad days, good seasons and slow ones. It’s important to be patient and try anything. Just because it doesn’t work for one person doesn’t mean it won’t work for you. Don’t buy clothes just because you like them, and remember to keep in mind that there are more sizes than extra small. Owners should always be present at the store because customers really want to see and interact with them.  Support other boutiques and, lastly, the customer is always right.


OPENED: April 2017

What made you decide to open your shop?  I’ve been in retail my entire life but my husband and I opened our very first store in Union Station called Logos and Labels, which was the last to close when all the stores left.  Eventually, I missed the interaction with customers and the merchandise, so we opened the first Final Touch location a few years ago and moved it to this new location last year.

Have you always loved fashion?  I’ve always loved shoes and home decor.  One of my favorite things is changing my house up and redecorating for each season.

What is the oldest item of clothing that you own?   Back in high school I bought a leather belt that I paid $110 for, which was very expensive back then.  I wore it and loved it so much that I saved it and both of my daughters wore it.  I added it to one of my outfits not that long ago.

One thing in the store that everyone should have in their home:  Fragrance whether it be a difuser or a candle with a scent that suits your individual taste.

What is the best part of your job?  I love working with customers but I also really enjoy  designing the displays in my store.  My favorite thing is configuring all the merchandise in the most creative way.

Favorite destination city to shop? Chicago is a great city for shopping and I like places in the south, like Destin and Naples, Florida as well as Charleston, South Carolina.

Advice you would give someone wanting to open a boutique.  You really have to enjoy working with people and have good customer service skills.  You also have to have creative vision to help customers put things together, whether it be an outfit or decorating their home.


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!
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.
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!
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!
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!


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!

Spring 2018 Fashion Event Calendar

 April 6th, 2018

Help us support the Children’s Miracle Network on Friday, April 6!

April 12th, 2018
Jen Stock Mindful Jewelry Trunk Show 6 pm – 9 pm

Mindful jewery for everyday life reminds the wearer to see the good in themselves & others ॐ – Take time for yourself and join us to shop Jen’s amazing collection of Mala jewelry and Goddess Necklaces.

APRIL 12th, 2018

6 pm

Celebrate the new Spring and Summer Styles at Tani. There will be 11 new styles making their debut. You can be the first to wear them. Cocktails and lite bites. Open bar so please Uber.  VISIT CLAIRE FLOWERS EVENT ON HER FACEBOOK PAGE TO RSVP

APRIL 12th, 2018

5 pm – 9 pm

Ladies grab your friends and come join us for our first Ladies Night Out! This will be a fun night of shopping, drinks, giveaways and more! Be one of the first 30 women to check-in at the entry table to win a Streets of St. Charles gift!

APRIL 12th, 2018

10 am – 9 pm

Join us at Leopard’s Streets of St Charles location to shop Mark Jenkin’s spring line of quality sandals and shoes! This is the second of 2 Trunk shows and Leopard will be carrying the entire Mark Jenkins line this spring. This footwear is all leather with memory foam insoles, so you’ll feel as good as you look!! 

APRIL 13th, 2018

10 am – 8 pm

Join us at Leopard’s Webster Groves location to shop Mark Jenkin’s spring line of quality sandals and shoes! This is the second of 2 Trunk shows and Leopard will be carrying the entire Mark Jenkins line this spring. This footwear is all leather with memory foam insoles, so you’ll feel as good as you look!!

APRIL 14th, 2018

7 pm – 10 pm

Revealing new collections from St. Louis’ top designers: Michael Drummond, James Harrison, Q Liu, Yoro, Lauren Tracy, and special guest from Dallas, Colt Fuller.
The Factory is a biannual fashion show and night market celebrating and shining light on the fresh, creative talent of St. Louis. With a focus on supporting local, independent designers and “shop small” communities, The Factory creates a platform for collaboration between artists of all media, fusing fashion and art with a theatrical, experimental element. The event builds direct connections between artist and consumer and creates an interactive experience for the audience.
7 pm- Night Market   8 pm- Fashion Show    9 pm- Night Market

APRIL 21st, 2018

6 pm


APRIL 29th, 2018

11am – 3 pm

This is our 3rd time hosting this event and we cannot wait for another! On April 29th, from 11am to 3pm, Kristin Mayer, owner of The Spotted Pig, is hosting a shopping event that is the ultimate Ladies Day Out! 
This is the perfect opportunity to grab your ladies and come network, shop and have a great time! A shopping and social event not to be missed! Enjoy shopping over 25 local businesses owned by Saint Louis Women. There will be samples, discounts, and great networking opportunities! This event will be held in the parking lot of the Clayprice Shopping Center in Ladue. (9216 Clayprice Shopping Center). We will also have live music by Evan Cole and plenty of Fun!
Kick off the Spring Season right at this ultimate Ladies’ Day Out!
Spread the word!!!
Invitation designed by Cheree Berry Paper, our new neighbors!!!
THIS EVENT IS FREE FOR ALL ATTENDEES! Bring the hubbies, grab the kids and come have some family fun!

MAY 2nd, 2018

6 Pm – 9 pm

Heels Boutique is so excited to be part of the 1st Annual Rose Rumble at Table Three!! Grab your girls and get tickets to this fabulous event before it’s sold out!!

Miss Missouri 2017, Jennifer Leigh Davis


From:  St. Charles, MO

Ambition:  Currently working on her Physician’s Assistant Degree from the University of Denver

Platform:  Teaching young children the importance of accepting others as they are.  Her children’s picture book, Diversity Matters,  can be found on

Talent:  Bollywood Dance

We had the pleasure of spending the day with reigning Miss Missouri, Jennifer Davis.  For two weeks prior to the Miss America Competition and for the final night on September 10th in Atlantic City, Jenn has to have sponsors for outfits, shoes and accessories.  Her mission is to showcase as much local fashion as possible, and who better to help her with this than the BoutiqueNAV girls!  We love her already!

We met Jennifer at Shine Boutique, one of our favorite accessory boutiques in the heart of Ladue, Mo. She looked adorable in a Lilly Pulitzer two piece navy dress from Pink Magnolia Boutique in Ladue, MO.  Pink Magnolia is sponsoring her work out attire.  Local shoe designer, Claire Flowers also met with us to pair her fabulous shoes with Shine’s accessories. Check out the pictures below which illustrate our wonderful morning at Shine Boutique.  Thank you to Shine Boutique owner, Tamara Dajani Netsch, and Claire Flowers for generously supporting Miss Missouri with shoe and accessory sponsorships!  Jennifer was thrilled and will look fabulously local!

Click the first picture below to bring up the photo gallery slide show.

Our next stop after a power lunch where we met Jenn’s mom, Nicole (we needed to refuel), we headed into Clayton, MO to Lusso.  Lusso carries several items from local designers making it a perfect place to find an outfit showcasing local talent.  Drea Ranick, one Lusso’s owners, was on hand to find several pieces that worked perfectly.  Jenn was particularly drawn to Wai Ming pieces by local designer, Emily Brady Koplar who is part of the St. Louis Fashion Incubator.  Lusso generously agreed to sponsor Jenn and even gave her the STL Arch Apparel/Red Lettered Shirt that you’ll see below.  Check out out how amazing Jenn looks in the clothes from Lusso!

Click the first picture below to bring up the photo gallery slide show.

After our amazing day with Jennifer we are certain that she will do great things, starting with winning the Miss America title!  You can help her get to the top each day prior to the competition by casting your vote here:





On April 22, 2017, BoutiqueNAV partnered with a group of Midwest Bloggers to promote local boutiques in Chesterfield, MO.  We were beyond excited that our guest designer, Barbara Bultman, could join us because she played an integral part of the surprises ahead.  She’s also just as fun as she is talented!

The morning started off rainy and chilly as we checked in our VIPs, handed them each a personalized lanyard and boarded the bus. Our moods were brighter than the skies, however, so we all put on our new sunglasses (thanks Shine Boutique!) and started the fun as we headed west for our first local adventure.

Our guests were in for many surprises en route to our destinations because we had compiled the best SWAG from generous, partnering boutiques in the area.  Seriously, our BoutiqueNAV SWAG bags were chock full of awesomeness!  Here are the contents inside the BoutiqueNAV bags:  Sunglasses from Shine Boutique in Ladue (they were all unique!), a gorgeous bracelet (a different one for each bag!) with RG nail polish and a discount card from Rachel’s Grove Boutique, a soy candle from Rusted Chandelier (yum – orange vanilla!), Spa Pumice soap from sammysoap (delightful smelling!), a coozie from Giddyup Jane, candy and a discount card from Lusso, a large candle from Christopher’s gifts, a wine glass with commemorative event logo from BoutiqueNAV, coupons from The Spotted Pig and a $25 off from designer Barbara Bultman!  We are incredibly thankful to our partnering boutiques!  They are all so wonderful in supporting local!  It takes a village! See below!

During the short trip to our first boutique, Rachel’s Grove, we spoke with our new blogger buddies about our mission to support local boutiques.  We showed them how supportive our member boutiques are to each other and handed them the SWAG.  Then we did a shout out to each boutique represented in the bag!  We had tons of fun with this!   Here are just a few!  We had so many!

We were all wearing our new Rachel’s Grove bracelets when we stepped off the bus at our first destination, Rachel’s Grove Boutique in Chesterfield.  Owner, Rachel Forst along with co-owner, Justin Flaherty, and the lovely Pam welcomed us into the shop.  Local hat designer, Dianne Isbell (Hats by Di-anne), was previewing her Spring hat collection, so as we stepped inside, we were amazed by the pop of colors that came from the beautifully designed Hats by Di-anne that were paired with Rachel’s Grove dresses.  We all had so much fun trying them on!  It was an amazing visit and most of the bloggers had never been to Rachel’s Grove.  We’re confident that they’ll be back!  Thank you Rachel’s Grove for letting us take over your store for a bit!

1. Our first stop: Rachel’s Grove! 2. Designer Barbara Bultman wearing a fabulous denim hat from Hats by Di-Anne! 3. Blogger Carmen Ramirez @frontrowstl with hat designer, Dianne Isbell. 4. Gretchen Gannon (BoutiqueNAV) wearing a custom derby hat designed by Dianne Isbell 5. Ann-Marie Brown (BoutiqueNAV) pictured with bloggers Valerie Helton @styledmuse and Olivia Bleeker @adropintheocean. 6. Toni Byrd of Connections to Success and blogger Julia Ann Cain @ohjuiaann  7. Fun top with cute sleeves coveted by Giulina Sertyl @thegirlinthelittlereddress and Jen Sertyl of Angelina Accoutrements 8. Blogger Lisa Galvin @lavidalisa_ modeling a fab dress from Rachel’s Grove!

Our second stop was right next door to Rachel’s Grove.  A brand new boutique (not even officially opened yet) called The Final Touch.  We were thrilled to meet Sue, the owner, and to get a sneak peak at all the fabulousness of this shop!  It was a blast discovering all the unique items within!  We’ll be back!

1. Love these cute faux paper plates! 2. Bloggers Olivia Bleeker, Valerie Helton and Carmen Ramirez 3. Pretty bracelets @The Final Touch 4. Bloggers Olivia Bleeker and Julia Ann Cain 5. Blogger Psyche Southwell, Toni Byrd from Connections to Success and Ann-Marie Brown (BoutiqueNAV) 6. Love this chair! It looks like one from the movie Out of Africa.  Am I way off?  7. Blogger Yasmin @bnbsocial loved the gold gladiators 8. Our review – there is a variety of cool things in The Final Touch!  Love it!

Our next stop was Fun in the Sun, the Chesterfield location, which is situated a little further east on highway 40.  We boarded the bus and by the time we got to our destination, it truly was a sunny day!  Owner, Nancy McGee, and store manager, Tacy, were ready for us with fun drinks, adorable cookies and….more SWAG!!!!  Thank you to Fun in the Sun and The Normal Brand for our fabulous caps and the hospitality that you showed us!

1. Giulina Sertyl @thegirlinthelittlereddress found cute Vineyard Vine rainboots 2. The group @Fun in the Sun 3. Cap of the day thanks to the Normal Brand. Pictured: blogger Olivia Bleeker @adropintheocean with Ann-Marie Brown and Designer Barbara Bultman 4. The awesome cookies from Fun in the Sun! Pictured are Ann-Marie Brown and Blogger Carmen Ramirez @frontrowstl. 5. Cheers! Blogger Carmen Ramirez with Ann-Marie Brown, Fun in the Sun owner, Nancy McGee and manager, Tacy. 6. Ann-Marie Brown with Bloggers Psyche Southwell @economyofstyle and Julia Ann Cain @ohjuliaann

Our final stop on our whirlwind tour was TLynn’s Boutique just few storefronts down and walking distance from Fun in the Sun.  It was a ton of fun to check out the new spring things TLynn’s just got in.  They carry cute sandals, booties, blinged out ball caps of your fave local team, amazing tops, jeans and dresses not to mention jewelry.  We were all treated to a bralette of choice.  They have a ton of styles and colors – lacey and sporty!  Thank you TLynn’s Boutique for your hospitality and for allowing us to swarm your store!

1. Ann-Marie (BoutiqueNAV) and Designer Barbara Bultman found cute matching fringe bags. 2. Ann-Marie with bloggers, Yasmin @bnbsocial and Carmen Ramirez @frontrowstl. 3. Carmen Ramirez @frontrowstl rocked this maxi to the max! 4 & 5. Our group @ TLynn’s Boutique in Chesterfield wrapping up our very fun morning!

The fun was not over on our way home.  No way!  Not only did we have amazing SWAG but we had fabulous raffle prizes from local designers and boutiques.  Our mission for the day was to have the bloggers post, promote and engage their followers along the way. To amp it up, we had contests for the most likes and shares.  Our amazing raffle prizes and winners were:  A Silk Top from Rungolee won by Giulina Sertyl @thegirlinthelittlereddress, a stunning necklace from local designer, Yolanda Newson of Yoro Creations won by Psyche Southwell @economyofstyle, a pair of sandals from Claire Flowers won by Valerie Helton @styledmuse, an original print from The Vault Luxury Resale won by Lisa Galvan @lavidalisa, Bloody Mary Mix and an Interchangeables Paris bracelet from The Spotted Pig, won by Julia Ann Cain @ohjuliaann, an architectural ring from Lusso won by Yasmin @bnbsocial, a “Gucci like” fedora from local designer, Dianne Isbell of Hats by Di-anne won by Carmen Ramirez @frontrowstl and a coveted, framed, original, fashion illustration by our guest designer on the bus, Barbara Bultman which was won by Olivia Bleeker @adropintheocean.

The final category was for the most creative post!  Our guest designer, Barbara Bultman, got to judge this category!  There were some great contenders but the winner of the day was Julia Ann Cain @ohjuliaann who put together an amazing story on Instagram documenting our every move in such a creative way!  Nice job Julia Ann!  She won the “You Nailed It” Nail Polish from The Vault Luxury Resale and “Put on your Party Pants” cocktail napkins from The Spotted Pig!

Winner of the most creative post was Julia Ann Cain @ohjuliaann for her Instagram story! Congrats!

We are thrilled that our first Blogger Buzz tour was such a success! We made new friends, connected people along our journey, promoted local businesses and got huge support from our local boutiques and designers!  For our next tour we’ll need a bigger party bus and we’d like to have even more bloggers!  We welcome all Midwest fashion bloggers to follow us and look for news of our next tour!

Thank you Barbara Bultman for coming along on our journey!

March 7- 21, 2017

MARCH 7, 2017: THE SPOTTED PIG in Ladue, MO

BoutiqueNAV welcomes The Spotted Pig to our website!  We can’t say enough good things about this shop, which opened it’s doors just in time for the holidays in early December, 2016.  It was the perfect time because there are gifts galore within the beautifully merchandised store.  It’s a local gem!  Navigate your way to The Spotted Pig in Ladue from our “find a boutique” page on


While you won’t find Josephine’s Tea Room on our site (just yet), we wanted to introduce ourselves (and you) to this magical place where you can have lunch and shop ’til your hearts content.  The tea room has wonderful food and the shops are in separate houses on the “compound”.  It’s quite a unique experience because each shop on the property has rooms that go on and on and on.  It reminded us a little of falling down the rabbit hole, complete with the tea party! Do yourself a favor and have this storybook experience!  It’s just a little jaunt across the river!

MARCH 13, 2017: LUSSO, Clayton, MO

AM visited with the girls from Lusso while GG was away.  She had way too much fun & by the looks of it, GG missed out!  It’s always a fun time to hang with the fabulous people there and it’s definitely a place to “be seen!”  They definitely have one of a kind things @ Lusso!


We are so excited for local designer Barbara Bultman who just opened her very own design studio on the Hill in St. Louis.  She had an opening party and AM was there to celebrate with her.  GG was still out of town and totally missed seeing the fabulous designer and friends!  Look for Barbara Bultman Designs in the KC Fashion Week Runway show on Saturday, April 1!

MARCH 20, 2017: PAISLEY BOUTIQUE, Webster Groves, MO

As you can see, AM was extremely busy while GG was out of town.  She visited with Stacie and the Paisley girls and got a peek at some new spring looks.  I think she may have left with a few fun pieces.  It’s pretty hard to resist as you’ll see in the pics!

MARCH 21, 2017: LEOPARD BOUTIQUE, Webster Groves, MO

Finally GG was back and able to visit Leopard Boutique.  We had a blast playing dress-up!  They have some awesome pieces.  We love the Leopard Loyalty point system!  If you don’t know about it – go in and find out how you can get $$ off your outfits!  It’s a fantastic system they have!

Feb. 24 – March 3rd, 2017


BoutiqueNAV welcomes Shine Boutique to our website!  Shine opened it’s doors this past June and, after many drive by, rubbernecking days of us wondering when, we finally got a sneak peek and met owner, Tamara Netsch.  We could have spent all day there because both the boutique and Tamara are – LOVELY!   Shine is a destination shop which everyone should discover.  With this in mind, we decided bring you along on our journey – so buckle up!

On a bright sunny day in the Lou, AM headed off to Shine Boutique in Ladue, MO.  Located in the heart of Ladue, Shine is chock full of the things we girls all love!  The shop has gifts galore, cute accessories and fabulous clothing items for HER!  Check out some of our recent finds!  Navigate your way to shine from our “find a boutique” page on

FEBRUARY 28, 2017:  sammysoap IN KIRKWOOD, MO

BoutiqueNAV welcomes our second, stellar boutique this week, sammysoap!  When you walk through the doors of this shop you realize pretty quickly that it’s way more than a natural, handmade, local soap company!  The magical fragrances  within do create a fabulous ambiance while shopping, but we guarantee that you’ll be drawn to much more than their amazing soaps.  Discover spectacular jewelry, gifts and the most stunning locally made cards.

Carve out a day because this shop is located in quaint downtown Kirkwood, MO, right in the midst of tons of activities, shops and good local restaurants.  You’ll want time to explore the area, but this shop could be the main course of your day. Come along with us as we take you on our journey to sammysoap.  You’ll be hooked!


Right around the corner from sammysoap is the fabulous Rusted Chandelier, a lovely shop that has been on our site since we began. We’ve made several jouneys here because it always brightens our day to see the season illustrated so beautifully within the store. During this visit we were delighted to see that Spring is in the Air!!!  Adios magic wands from Rusted Chandelier!  If you are curious, visit our FB page and watch our holiday video.  You’ll never be able to get it out of your head – but hey – they sold out!!


Rachel’s Grove is the quintessential, local, dress boutique.  The shop has been on our site from the beginning. We both launched around the same time which makes us fashionably united.  We love everything about Rachel’s Grove, including owner Rachel Forst, who has a fabulous eye for merchandising her store paired with a keen business sense.  Our regular visits to play dress-up always include tons of pictures because the clothing and the backdrop of her shop are a winning combo for fab pics.

Our latest visit was our first peek at Spring looks within Rachel’s Grove.  We were personal shopping for a client who had several events to attend.  With our mission in mind we headed straight to Rachel’s Grove.  We knew we’d find what the client needed but we also found some great buys leftover from Fall/Winter.  Bonus!  Trust us, when Rachel’s Grove announces a sale, mark your calendars because you’ll get great deals on top labels.  These are a few of our favorite things (sing it  – you know you want to:)


Fun in the Sun has two locations in the greater St. Louis Area.  The first location opened in Kirkwood, MO and, more recently, Fun in the Sun Chesterfield greeted it’s first customers.  We love visiting because even on the coldest, dreariest of days you’ll feel warm.  We always have Fun in the Sun! We leave feeling brighter than when we arrived and without a sunburn!  Cheeri-o!

This month we are launching a campaign with Fun in the Sun Chesterfield to show the top 10 reasons to support local.  Each day will feature a picture and new reason why supporting local is the smarter and more fashionable way to shop.


We headed to the Vault Luxury Resale with a clear mission in mind.  We were personal shopping for a client who had several upcoming events and needed outfits.  We were greeted by Diana and Laura, two sisters who own the shop with their mother, Sue.  They are a power threesome who have been in the resale business much longer than most.  They clean out the closets of the rich and famous all over the country, but most of their clients are in NYC and California.  They have a strict “do not tell” policy about their clothing sources, but at times customers can pick up a hints here and there like “if you knew who owned that little number that you are trying on, you’d positively scream!”

On this particular day, we’re told that they’ve just come into a ton of dresses from several “notable” closets.  We are purring!  I immediately spot a green Alice and Olivia dress with flowy pleated sleeves on an mannequin and AM heads for a Prada bag.   With the green dress and many more items safely ensconced in my dressing room,  I finally pull myself away from the racks and head back.  Just as I arrive, AM is waltzing out WEARING MY GREEN DRESS!”  Everyone is oohing and aahhing and upon examining herself in the mirror AM says, “I must get this dress!”  Yep, sometimes this happens, but in the end, I walked out with the dress along with some other great buys, plus our client stopped by the next day and bought several that we picked out for her!  As you’ll see below, AM has some pretty good options, but in the end she was thrilled to pieces with her initial find – The Prada bag.  Happy endings all around!  Check out some of our great finds and the controversial green dress:)


Show your local LOVE!  From the dramatic to the sweet, you’ll find the perfect look from local boutiques and designers in the area.  Here are a few top picks that will have you feeling, and looking, your loveliest!  Find them all on


Send us your LOVELY LOCAL LOOK for February 2017 by following the steps below and we may choose yours as the winner!  (Contest runs from Feb. 1-28, 2017)

  •  Like BoutiqueNAV and StreetScape Magazine’s Facebook Page
  •  Tag BoutiqueNAV and StreetScape Magazine with your photo(s).
  •  Tell us which local boutique you got your look from and why you picked it
  •  Winner will receive: a prize from a local boutique, a posting on BoutiqueNAV and StreetScape Magazine’s Facebook  page,  plus all winners will be featured in StreetScape Magazine’s next issue.
Standout looks from local designers, Kelley Boster of ReFash Studios and Wiki Wang.


Heartfelt looks from TLynn’s Boutique in Chesterfield, LA Luxury Activewear in Webster Groves and 10Denza in CWE

Leather earrings from Barbara Bultman Designs and rose earrings from Yoro Creations (both local designers)


Pucker up with yummy lip gloss from Christopher’s in Kirkwood and retro lip balm from Fun in the Sun in Kirkwood and Chesterfield


 Elliatt LBD from from Lusso in Clayton, a Rose Cloche from Hats by Di-Anne (local), iconic stud pumps with pink heel cap from local designer Claire Flowers and jewelry from Carries Boutique in Lake St. Louis

Red western boots from Giddyup Jane in Ladue and Lilla P. floral cotton swing top from Paisley Boutique in Webster Groves


Rock the “pretty in pink” look!  Blouses from Rachel’s Grove in Chesterfield and Leopard in Webster Groves and St. Charles.  Manolo Blahnik pumps from the Vault Luxury Resale and Ombre sweater wrap from Dot Dot Dash in DeMun


The 2016 5th Annual Garbage Bag Gala benefiting the Salvation Army took place on Saturday, July 16th at the Mercedes Benz Dealership on Hampton Avenue in St. Louis, MO.  It was a fabulous evening of creative fashion from top local designers.  In the spirit of the theme “Reclaim-Recover-Rejoice”, designers were given the challenge to create outfits from recycled materials in two categories:  Formal / Casual Wear and Art-To-Wear Designs.
This year’s designs from 17 local artists did not disappoint!  It was a tough competition but congratulations go out to Barbara Bultman, a designer we’ve had on our radar all year!  Both of her creations were top notch including this LBD from the Art-To-Wear category made entirely of black straws and modeled by the lovely, Galina Angheluta (see below).

GBG 2016

Pictured above from left to right:  Gretchen Gannon, Galina Angheluta, Ann-Marie Brown and winning designer, Barbara Bultman

Congrats also go out to 2nd place winner, Alexis Cook, pictured above and escorting model Abigail Scherer.  The design from the Art-To-Wear category was spectacular, fashioned mostly from duct tape! (photo by Gretchen Gannon)


This design from the Art-To-Wear category designed by 3rd place winner Jacob Stanley was another example of superb creativity!  It was fashioned from reclaimed picture slides and modeled by Bree Chamberlain.  (photo by Gretchen Gannon)


Art-To-Wear dress channeling Effie Tinkham from the Hunger Games.  (photo by Gretchen Gannon)


Art-To-Wear Dress fashioned from duct tape with a magnificent fan made of magazine pages (photo by Gretchen Gannon)

Top Photo:  Art-to-Wear Dress made with plastic cups and duct tape (photo by Gretchen Gannon)

Summer 2016: Lou Fashion Calendar


You won’t have to travel far to enjoy a fashionable night out!


July 16th: Garbage Gala 2016

Local designers compete by designing ready to wear outfits using only recyclables.  Proceeds benefit the Salvation Army.

Mercedes-Benz, 1048 Hampton Ave., Saint Louis, MO



July 22-23:  Cash and Carry

Local boutiques come together in one place to give shoppers the best deals of the year!  Come early for the best items – they sell fast!

Venue:  The Majorette, 7150 Manchester Road, St. Louis, MO 63143

Purchase tickets:

cash and carry





Discover the local charm of downtown Kirkwood with Fashion Group International.  Stops include The Rusted Chandelier for a floral demonstration and sammiesoap to learn the art of soap making all while enjoying nibbles and drinks.  The tour will wind up at Kirkwood station to enjoy live music at the Kirkwood Station Plaza.  If you work within the St Louis Fashion Community you can find out more about Fashion Group International at this event.

August 11th:  8th Annual Pins & Needles Fashion Design Competition Announces


pins and needles

On August 11, 2016 St. Louis events agency Brainchild Events will host the 8th annual Pins and Needles fashion design competition at The Majorette (7150 Manchester Ave, St. Louis, MO 63143) on August 11 at 6pm. This designer competition will feature upcoming designers from across the country from New York to LA. The competition seeks to support the creativity, innovation, and artistry of new designers by giving them the exposure, experience, and tools they need to take their collections from runway to retail. Participants will be invited to showcase their designs at the August event, with the winner receiving $15,000 in prizes, including a $1,000 cash prize from Saint. Louis Fashion Fund and other exposure to help launch successful careers in the fashion industry. Guests will also vote for the SIBA (Stevens Institute of Business Arts) People’s Choice Award via Twitter the night of the actual event.  For tickets click on the following link:

pins and needles image

The Business of Fashion (BOF): Daily News for the Global Fashion Insider

Are you are in the fashion industry, or a student with dreams of pursuing a fashion career? Maybe you simply like to be “in the know” to talk shop about haute couture. In any case, if you take the fashion world seriously, The Business of Fashion (BOF) should be your go-to online news source.

I’ve found BOF to be one of the best, and most fascinating, sources for the latest insider information within the industry. While other sites (think talk about what’s trending in pop culture fashion, BOF takes a serious look at the industry globally. Scrolling through the site, one can scan headlines about shake-ups within major fashion houses, trends in retail, and (students take note) job postings worldwide within the industry. It’s a reliable, comprehensive source for those interested in global fashion news. Think of it as “the Wall Street Journal of Fashion” (but much more interesting for those of us that are right brain dominant). BOF is such a relevant fashion source that, if it isn’t already, it should be a required read for fashion students.

The best news is that it’s free! Once you sign up, you can receive the BOF “ daily digest “ to your email and even follow BOF on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for up to the minute news. To find out more, click here.

You can thank me later when you land that job at Louboutin…I’m a size 8-1/2.

Where to Shop West of Highway 270

Photo courtesy of Rachel's Grove Dress Boutique in Chesterfield, MO

Photo courtesy of Rachel’s Grove Dress Boutique in Chesterfield, MO

On a sunny yet crisp fall day I decided to jump into my car and drive west on highway 40 to spend the day visiting a selection of fine boutiques for the home and the closet. With the help of, a free app launched by two St. Louisans that will locate boutiques in a desired area, I prepared for a sartorial adventure. My travels took me from Town and Country and Ellisville, to Chesterfield Valley, Ballwin and Wildwood.

For Full Article:


Meet BoutiqueNAV’S Fall 2015 15 “It Girl” Devon Crouse!

Devon Crouse

ALIVE Magazine
Marketing Solution Specialist

Devon Crouse is spot-on eith the season’s upcoming looks! She has embraced fringe and vegan leather which will be big for fall 2015!

Hometown: Cedar Rapids, Iowa
“GO TO” Look: Heals (a must), paired with statement pieces and minimal accessories
Fashion Idol: Carrie Bradshaw
Favorite Boutiques: MOD, Marta’s & Paperdolls
Recently Discovered Boutique: Leopard
Devon’s Fashion Bucket List: A signature Chanel Handbag & Louboutin Heels


NAVigating the Look of the Week: EXPRESS YOURSELF


Show how us how you really feel.  From quirky to cantankerous, there’s something for everyone and you don’t have to look far. Take a look at some of the great local finds we’ve encountered.

With all the crazy holiday prep, this is the perfect way to lighten up this season. Send us your personal take on this trend by following the steps below and we may choose yours as the winner!
  1.  Like BoutiqueNAV and Streetscape Magazine’s Facebook Page
  2.  Tag BoutiqueNAV and Streetscape Magazine with your photo(s).
  3.  Tell us which local boutique you got your look from and why you picked it
  4.  Weekly winner will receive: a prize from a local boutique, a posting on BoutiqueNAV’s & Streetscape Magazine’s Facebook  pages,  plus all winners will be featured in Streetscape Magazines next issue.

So take it from Madonna and “Express Yourself.” No doubt you’ll have that iconic song running through your head all day just to remind you!