As a female consumer in a major metropolitan area, I make it my business to try to find the best boutiques, consignment shops and other stores that are off the beaten path. This way, I know that I won’t be wearing the same thing that everyone else is wearing this season.
However, as a personal stylist, it is required for me to know where all of these great places are, so that my customer will know the best places to shop for unique items and fantastic personalized customer service.
I recently found all of that in two boutiques right here in the DC area located in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia.
My first stop was Zoe Boutique; located at 130 South Union Street in Alexandria. Susan Gerock owns the Boutique. Upon entering, the environment was spacious yet filled with lovely clothing and accessories. The first thing I noticed was a familiar dress on the mannequin. I recalled seeing it on a website that could only be ordered or purchased in New York City. Susan reminded me that this dress by Tracy Reese made its first appearance on our very own First Lady, Michelle Obama. How exciting that the dress is available right here in our “neck of the woods”.
If you plan to stop by her boutique, you may want to know that she offers a variety of womens’ clothing from size XS-L or Size 2-12. With the exception of a few items, the majority of her dresses and sweaters for the season range in price from $100-$300. Susan focuses more on style than trend, as she finds her clients are most interested in what looks best on them as opposed to what is trendy this season. Approximately 85 percent of her foot traffic is from locals aging from approximately 30-60 Years Old.
She carries a variety of brands/designers and you should definitely check out her denim section! When choosing designers she “Looks for designers who are a little bit different in that they meet the timeless mold but are unique.
Susan expressed her genuine love for the community in which her shop is located and even a local neighbor stopped by to offer to grab a coffee for her while she was out.
If you haven’t been to this fantastic boutique, it’s time to take a trip to Alexandria to check it out! While you are there, you won’t want to miss the newly opened Bishop Boutique, located at 815-B King Street in Alexandria. They are having their grand opening and ribbon cutting, Saturday, October 22, 2011 but they are open for business and selling some gorgeous shoes and accessories now! This boutique is owned and operated by Kelly Ferenc.
Kelly said that she fell in love with the Old Town area of Alexandria and knew that this was a potential area for her shop. She had worked in and managed boutiques in New York during and after college and just recently moved to the area.
When I first walked into her shop, I imagined that I had become Cinderella and someone just gave me the most awesome walk-in closet ever! She has a beautiful chandelier, white fixtures and just a wonderful display of her wears.
They sell shoes, handbags and jewelry and may soon be bringing in a few pieces of clothing. Shoes range in price from $45-$475. Let me tell you that Kelly was rocking those suede ankle boots at $475 and she looked like a million bucks in them! I also have to admit that I couldn’t slip out of there without making my own mini purchase of some metallic gold ballerina flats for the very affordable price of $55.
Her goal is to not over stock her inventory and to find pieces that “pop”. She carries shoes in sizes 5-11 and can do some special ordering.
As both a consumer and a stylist, we never want to forget our unique resources and small stores when looking for that special something. These two great boutiques and fabulous ladies reminded me that going big retail is not always getting the best service or the best price!
Stop by and see them, and tell them I sent you. Have fun shopping!
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