Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Shop Small: Unique Boutiques

A Passion for Fashion? 
Discover These Unique Boutiques.

Spokane is dotted with independently owned
designer boutiques, which makes buying
local easier than ever. There was a time when
downtown Spokane’s elaborate skywalk system kept
shoppers inside and off the street, but a bevy of trendy
shops and eateries have now put people back at street
level and added vibrancy to the city. Here are some
unique boutiques that provide great retail therapy with
top-notch service.
Finders Keepers: Lighten Up! Photo Credit FK

Finders Keepers: Walk on the Dark Side. Photo Credit FK

Trendsetter Susan Carmody made a fashion
statement in 2001 by opening Jigsaw in downtown
Spokane. The boutique caters to women who want
individuality in their wardrobes. This keep-it-special
concept differs from large retailers that stock multiple
items in each size and reorder more of any style that
sells out. Personal service is the hallmark of a Jigsaw
shopping experience. Carmody, who studied fine arts,
says the joy of color mixing keeps her enchanted,
and she loves it when a customer gets excited about
something she brings to the dressing room that the
client would never pick out on her own.

In 2006, a dream became reality when Meghan
Brown and Trish Thoen decided to pursue what they
loved most: fashion. With more than 27 years of
combined retail experience, they opened Cues and
added a fresh note to downtown Spokane. Designer
duds, fashionable frocks and a little something different
await savvy shoppers at Cues. With 60 styles from
more than 25 designers, Cues’ extensive, ever-changing
array of the newest jeans can help complete any urban
wardrobe. Thoen and Brown take what they like from
trends and incorporate them in a way that is “real” to
 life. A Chanel-style jacket with a slim tee and jeans,
that’s what Cues is about. Their inventory centers on
fashionable pieces that are timelessly chic, cool and
effortless.

Lolo Boutique, located in SoDo (South Downtown
business district), is a trendy home, garden and clothing
shop that occupies the former Cyrus O’Leary’s Pies
factory. This stylish boutique features up-and-coming
designers and rare finds. Lolo offers an urban escape
for discriminating shoppers, complete with the side
alley displaying garden items. Opening its doors in July
2006, Lolo was instant hit. Owners Beth Hitch and her
daughter, Nicole Floyd, had a vision: to offer a creative
mix of contemporary clothing and accessories in a cozy
atmosphere. Hitch found her passion with Lolo and
loves making women feel confident and pretty in what
they wear.

Since 1988 Katze Boutique, also located in
downtown Spokane, has offered artistry in clothing,
jewelry, and accessories. Expect a great selection of
creative, funky and professional apparel that gives
customers looks not found elsewhere in the city.
This one-of-a-kind boutique offers unique wearable
art. Moreover, much of the clothing and jewelry is
handmade. Owner Barbara Katze, who has an eye for
something a little different, favors clothing made from
natural fibers: linen, cotton, silk and hemp. In addition
to the carefully chosen clothing lines, the eponymous
shop carries clothing and jewelry that Katze designs
herself.

Two sister stores make a shopper happy she’s a girl.
With the stores just blocks apart, shoppers double their
fun by discovering must-have finds at both locations.
At the 2nd Avenue Finders Keepers—Jewelry Galore,
you’ll find all the baubles and bling imaginable. The
knowledgeable staff is passionate about jewelry,
and they will help you explore their vast collection
of vintage and custom pieces. The array of jewelry
includes 1930’s diamond engagement rings, 1950’s
Bakelite pieces, designer rhinestones, Victorian era
pendants, modern sterling silver rings, along with their
 own custom earrings and necklaces. Owner and
designer Deena Caruso launched the D. Caruso line
in which she transforms vintage pieces of jewelry
into lovely flower hairpieces, charming bobby
pins and elegant headbands. These accessories
have caught the attention of Hollywood stylists,
celebrities and fashion magazines. At Finders
Keepers II
—Designer Dress Boutique
,
girly-girlscan indulge in party dresses, special occasion
hatsand distinctive accessories. This Main Street store is
the place for prom and wedding party attire, as well
as for every major Spokane soiree. (Caruso keeps
an event register so clients don’t find themselves
in “who’s-wearing-it-best” situations.) Caruso is a
leading advocate for Buy Local, supporting other
local businesses, and she regularly contributes to
numerous community causes.

aNeMonE was created in 2002 after Mary
Eberle’s passion for art culminated in more than
600 beautiful, handmade paper flowers for her
autumn wedding. When the flowers received rave
reviews from family and friends, she knew she
was onto something, and her business was born.
In the years since, Eberle has transformed vintage
paper-flower making into a singular modern art
form. As a result, Spokane has a full-scale paper
florist, offering custom arrangements, wedding
flowers, prom boutonnieres and corsages, rental
services, and even do-it-yourself classes. It also
carries paper and gifts. Don’t miss this one-of-akind
shop.

Artemis, in the North Monroe Business
District, is an ever-changing treasure chest of
domestic and international finds that reflects
the refined taste of owner/dreamer Kris Mack.
Recently she added Shabby Apple, a fun line of
up-cycled clothing, charming hats and estate
jewelry. At Artemis, shoppers discover what they
didn’t know they had to have. Classical, whimsical
and unique merchandise includes well-selected
antiques, home accessories, and estate finds. This
A Graham + Spencer spring look from Cues 93
is a not-to-miss retail adventure.

A re-sale boutique, Fringe & Fray is located just west
of Spokane’s downtown core. With a discerning eye,
owners Grace and Ryan Johnson scour estate sales, flea
markets and garage sales in search of the most worthy
clothing, shoes and accessories. Everything is in pristine
condition at attractive prices. They offer both men and
women’s clothing. Sundry home furnishings, such as a
reupholstered wingback chair and a vintage dresser, are
also for sale. Basically, the Johnsons do all the work and
shoppers reap the rewards.

COCO Boutique relocated to South Hill, directly
south of downtown. This chic shop may have a new
location, but shoppers can still expect the same great
ready-to-wear. It carries designer labels in limited
quantities and carefully selected accessories to
complete any look. For casual clothing or great “date
apparel,” head to COCO Boutique.

Fringe Boutique & Salon, also located in South
 Hill, is owned by three pretty sisters who have one rule
for their buying trips: they only select items they all
absolutely love. In addition to fashion forward dresses,
terrific tops and a fabulous denim lineup, shoppers are
impressed with the multitude of affordable accessories
and select home decor items. Two of the sisters are hair
stylists, and since all three adore fashion, they created
a business that brings together fashion, beauty, and
home decor. Their adjoining full-service salon makes it
possible to update your hair and wardrobe in one trip.
With a diverse line of designers, downtown’s
Tangerine is a dream closet of the latest looks. Owner
Patricia Sampson, a local real estate agent, saw a need
and filled it. Her boutique carries fashions that are easily
incorporated into any wardrobe. With one glance, you
know you’ll be adding new favorites to your closet.
For funky jewelry, colorful handbags and clothing that
ranges from stylish office attire to weekend wear, your
destination is Tangerine.

Sparrow Boutique & Jewelry Bar 
is NorthSpokane’s newest boutique. It has a trendy
vibe that is reflected in their everyday wear.
Owner/designer DeLori Furulie is known for her
embellishedwearable art belt buckles. Her boutique
not only has well selected designer apparel, but also an
array of fashion accessories, loads of jewelry and
footwear.

Audrey’s a Boutique, just north of downtown,
is a stylish surprise. Here, you can find resort wear
to formal wear to foundation wear. Cindy Green
is the owner. Stylist Victoria Ferro can always help
clients answer the question, “What to wear?” Ferro
suggests clothes a client may not have chosen,
but then discovers she can’t leave without. If you
need a personal shopper or whole new look, this
is the place to go. The boutique can dress clients
of all sizes and shapes, and it specializes in serving
the post-mastectomy woman. Audrey’s apparel
makes customers look better and feel great: the
added sense of confidence comes at no additional
charge.

A shopping excursion to Carousel, an
exclusively vintage boutique, will transport you to
eras past. Whether a client wants a stylish Jackie
O. look or a traditional June Cleaver one, she can
be achieve it at Carousel. Owner and finder Jenny
Stabile started her collection with a few vintage
dresses. With the addition of several hundred
vintage garments and with no room left in her
closet, she knew the logical next step was to open
a shop—and that’s exactly what she did. In 2010 she
opened Carousel on Carnegie Square, just west
of downtown Spokane. Stabile is in her element
reselling vintage clothes to modern women who
yearn for one-of-a-kind looks. Whether you’re
seeking a timeless look that’s garden party casual
or cocktail party fancy, plan to spend some
delightful time browsing through the packed, but
organized racks. What’s more, you can complete
the look with just right accessories from the same
time period.

Swank in North Spokane is a boutique with an
edge. This stylish shop is owned by Jody Jones, a
former police officer turned fashionista. Although
Swank is an independent, locally owned boutique,
it’s nestled amid nationally owned chain shores
in Northtown Square. Consequently, first-time
customers often ask where the other Swank stores
are located. But Swank is a Spokane original. It’s
filled with designer and popular brands, and you
can expect to find attitude, swagger and every
trend worth wearing in this flirty boutique. Jones
obviously believes in being well accessorized:
Swank has a serious commitment to jewelry,
handbags, shoes and other adornments to put
any outfit over the top. Look around at Swank and
you’ll find gifts items and even some swanky home
decor accessories mixed in with the hip clothing
and accessories.

The opening of beautiful boutiques in Coeur
d’Alene means those in North Idaho don’t
always have to travel to Spokane to shop, and
Spokanites are now going to North Idaho for
more than the lake.

Tiffany Blue, in downtown Coeur d’Alene,
has jeans—lots and lots of jeans—and other pieces
to pair with them. Popular labels and chunky
accessories give a distinctive style that has tourists
and residents upping the vacation look of North
Idaho. The boutique has new owners and new lines,
and this house of style is packed with premium
denim and name dropper labels.

Smitten Clothing Boutique, located
downtown in the Coeur d’Alene Resort Shops,
offers both men’s and women’s fashions. The “rock
chic” inspired boutique is owned by best friends
Melissa and Laura, who share a passion for fashion.
With their “LA style” contemporary clothing and
affordable prices, the owners promise customers
can go from daytime chic to nighttime rock star.

Published in The Essential Guide 2012

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