Tag Archives: fashion

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Be Our Guest

We sent our resident explorer, JD Dotson, in search of the perfect wedding gifts that will land you on the greatest guest list 

PHOTOS & STORY BY JD DOTSON 

Always looking for the perfect wedding gift that is sentimental or functional (or both!), I have a tendency to skip buying the single salad fork on the registry and look for something special for the couple of the hour. I 100% get the importance of a gift registry, especially if the couple is someone I barely know or just starting out in adulting life together. But I also 100% trust my instincts on giving thoughtful gifts to people I love and in no way have waited until the last minute when the only thing left on the registry is a $600 Vitamix. So, here are a few of my faves that will help land you on the unofficial “Greatest Guest” list you know couples compile. 

 

extolmag_28_ad_final_page_052_image_0002Set of 3 galvanized steel hearts, $19.99 

Ceramic You and Me Dish, $3.99 each 

Instantly feeling the need to redo everything in my house, I had to remind myself to stay focused when I go to PC Home Center. Anything a young couple starting a home together might need can be found in this store. From paint, flooring, windows, cabinets to entire kitchen installations and really cool lighting features, PC Home Center offers gift cards in any denomination to get the project started. Not one to just toss a gift card at a couple without something to open, I found this galvanized steel heart set of three containers, and a couple of “you and me” ceramic ring dishes to compliment. 

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For the bicycle enthusiast couple on your gift list, I fell in love with this Cycle Gathering Table. I even have the perfect spot picked out at home and don’t mind a belated wedding present. 

Cycle Gathering Table $559.99 


PC Home Center 

123 Cherry St., New Albany | 812.944.4444

www.pchomestores.com


extolmag_28_ad_final_page_053_image_0002The blank page cut out letter books have the look of vintage, classic readers digests. They come in a wide and wild variety of cover designs, all 26 letters of the alphabet and the ampersand. Combine the initials of the couple, spell out LOVE, the last name, any romantic word for a functional, customizable and fun gift. 

Everyone needs that chip and dip tray for fancy entertaining. The couple are full-on adults — no more cutting the top of the bag off and screwing off the lid. It is time to actually elevate the chips and dips when company calls. The Nora Fleming line of platters, cake stands, serving trays and chip and dip bowls can be accessorized with “decorative minis.” Every kind of theme is available from summer fun, holidays, baby, even a tiny ceramic zombie hand and they all easily attach to the dish. 

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Nora Fleming Chip and Dip Platter, $43.20 

 

Decorative Minis, $11.66 each 


Ben Franklin Crafts 

420 New Albany Plaza, New Albany | 812.944.1215

www.benfranklinartsandframin.com


extolmag_28_ad_final_page_054_image_0001The best way to get your foodie friends to invite you over for a post-honeymoon meal is to get them amazing things they can use in the kitchen. I love a multifaceted theme gift, and The Olivet delivered. I discovered The Oil and Vinegar Lovers Cookbook by Emily Lycopolus and picked a variety of exotic goodies (Rose’ Wine Balsamic, Blood Orange Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Hawaiian Black Lava Salt and a Citrus Peel Rub) and topped off the gift with a locally-handmade wooden cutting board by Wayne Pepin. I may have had some chocolate and macarons while I shopped. Don’t judge. 

 

Cookbook, $29.95 2 oz. bag of spices or salts, $7 each or three for $18 

375 ML Balsamics, $18.95 

200 ML Olive Oil, $13.95 

Cutting Board, $79.95 


The Olivet 

37 Bank St., New Albany | 812.913.4430 | www.theolivet.com 


extolmag_28_ad_final_page_055_image_0001Georgetown boy meets the love of his life in Clarksville. Wedding toasts follow in the stemless wine glass with etched zip codes. No matter what area the couple grew up in or plan to call home, zip code glasses can be special ordered. 

$9.99 each 

extolmag_28_ad_final_page_055_image_0002The rustic, simple and sweet couple, hand-carved out of wood, painted and embellished is ready to be taken to their new home. Sold individually, they are perfect for every couple. 

$30 each; $60 for the couple 


Madhouse 

151 E. Spring St., New Albany | 812.924.7728 www.madhousena.com 


Walking into True North makes me want to get remarried and put so much hand-made beautiful stuff on my list. I fell in love with the simple driftwood candle holder by Mack Dryden, even though my IKEA coffee table would do it justice. Depending on how much you loved me and my significant other, you could throw in the gorgeous Paul Weddington coffee table it sits on and I wouldn’t hate that one bit. 

extolmag_28_ad_final_page_056_image_0003Driftwood Candle Holder, $45 

Table, $475 

extolmag_28_ad_final_page_056_image_0002Every home should have that beautiful tea set that comes out on special occasions. Dallas Wooten’s soda-fired ceramic tea set deserves a spot in a glass cabinet and carefully taken out when people you love stop in for tea. A really beautiful, functional work of art is an ideal gift. 

Tea set, $120 


True North 

137 E. Market St., New Albany | 502.873.868

www.shoptruenorth812.com


extolmag_28_ad_final_page_057_image_0001The stacks of books that have been on my side tables and coffee table for the past 12 years are the ones I keep telling myself I am going to read. I found a stack of books at LL&A that make the reading quick, easy and perfect for the happy couple. “I was made for loving you baby, you were made for loving me” will now be stuck in your head as well. Top off the gift with a bottle of wine and a congratulatory bottle topper and get yourself out on the dance floor. 

 

Bottle Toppers, $18 

Book Stack $ 172 


LL&A Interior Design 

247 Spring St., Jeffersonville | 812.282.6606

www.leslielewisdesign.com 


extolmag_28_ad_final_page_058_image_0005There is nothing wrong with pre-wedding gift giving. You want the couple to look and feel good on their wedding day, and gift cards to Body & Brow Boutique will take care of both of them head to toe. Facial and body waxing, male waxing, tanning, facials and even makeup application are available. I thought treating the couple to a nice soak with some bath bombs for after the big day would be a good way to start spending the rest of their lives together. 

Gift cards available in any denomination, price list available on the website. 

Bath Bombs, $6.50 


Body & Brow Boutique 

141 E. Spring St., New Albany | 812.225.9191

www.bodyandbrow.com


extolmag_28_ad_final_page_059_image_0005Great as a pre-wedding gift to be used at a reception perhaps, the Love Jar by Gratitude Jars comes with 250 blank foil embossed Love cards. Guests can leave a love note in the jar as a keepsake for the couple after the wedding. Great minds think alike: the Love Jar is one of Oprah and my favorite things, too. 

Love Jar $45.00 

extolmag_28_ad_final_page_059_image_0006Love is Love is Love in these beautifully sweet rendered wedding mugs. Love is a lot of things and I hope every morning starts off the day right with a good cup of coffee with the one you love. 

Coffee Mug, $15 


Regalo 

234 Pearl St., New Albany | 812.542.6567 | www.regaloart.com


 

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The Legend of the Laurel Wreath!

OK, so we are being a bit dramatic. There is not really a huge “legend” behind our Laurel Wreath branding — but there is a story to it. 

A laurel wreath is simply a round wreath made of connected leaves and branches of the bay laurel plant. It’s a symbol of triumph or victory that dates to Greek Mythology. In ancient times, wreaths were awarded to victors in athletic competitions. They were also a symbol of martial victory in Rome and were used to crown a successful commander during his triumph. In modern idiomatic usage, it refers to a victory. extolmag_28_ad_final_page_025_image_0002

So, why in the world did we name our bridal boutique Laurel Wreath Bridal? For owner Laurie Haag, it came about quickly after exhausting all the cliche “bridally” sounding names. After careful consideration, she thought, “What is more personal that says something about me?” Well, her name is Laurie. She has four daughters. At least with two of those daughters she considered the name Laurel. But she always ended up steering away from it because for one, Laurel was a pretty unique name back in the late 80s and 90s, and this was back before unusual names were really all the rage. Plus, she thought, Laurie and Laurel — and their grandpa’s name being Larry — maybe was a little too much. Larry, Laurie, Laurel sounded like a recipe for disaster when it came to family functions or in the public when people would get all that confused. So, she always ended up changing her mind. extolmag_28_ad_final_page_025_image_0001

But, when she had the opportunity to revisit the name for her business, she seized it. She thought it was an excellent way to give a nod to the fact that her bridal shop was her new “baby” that would need lots of nurturing and love along the way. The connotation of a laurel wreath just sounded pretty. Plus, Laurie really loved the idea of it signifying victory! So, for us, Laurel Wreath is a way of celebrating the victory in the dress search. We love to help brides find the perfect gown for their day. Each bride receives an special wreath of her own at their dress pick up. It’s just a small touch, that for us is a way of personalizing your dress victory and welcoming you into the Laurel Family! 

 

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SAPPHIRE BOUTIQUE PRE-DERBY PARTY

April 12 • Jeffersonville

Photos by Bailey Boyd

Sapphire Boutique held its inaugural pre-derby fashion show and party on their back patio at the 326 Spring Street location in historic downtown Jeffersonville. The head-turning affair thrilled guests with the latest in spring, summer and Derby fashions.

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BREAKAWAY DANCING

May 14 • Horseshoe Southern Indiana

Photos by Christian Watson 

The second annual BreakAway Dancing event benefited New Albany’s home for women recovering from addiction 

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1SI 2019 ONE AWARDS

April 11 • Huber’s Orchard, Winery & Vineyard’s

Photos by Christian Watson

More than 300 guests attended One Southern Indiana’s 2019 ONE Awards ceremony. Winners were selected by a panel of judges and online polling.The program recognized finalists in six business categories who were showcased in customized videos before representatives of each award’s sponsor announced the winners.

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At First Blush

Madison boutique brings Paris fashions to Southern Indiana

PHOTOS BY PATIENCE DEAN • PATIENCEDEANPHOTOGRAPHY.COM

 

Blush on Main, one of Southern Indiana’s premier boutiques, hosted “Paris Couture,” a fashion show, March 2 at Rembrandts Gallery & Wine Bar in Madison.

The annual fashion spectacular featured runway-worthy styles, including imported Milan styles. The sold-out show has become known for its music, fashion and fun, and garners rave reviews.

Blush on Main, which is owned by Mary Beth Boone, sells upscale clothing, Derby hats , accessories and gala gowns with spot-on style sessions and offers a unique experience through its sister company, The Fashion House, an attached AirBnB. This allows for the ultimate shopping destination, particularly if you opt to stay for the weekend. Guests have the opportunity to be pampered by a stylist and choose from several services at the on-site salon, and enjoy meals prepared by a chef and fresh flowers from French Tulip Florist.


Blush on Main

113 W. Main St. Madison
812.273.7000
Facebook: @blushonmain

Katya in Strut & Bolt Red Jumpsuit from Sapphire on Spring $64 / Black Fascinator from Ben Franklin $49.99

ENVIABLE ATTIRE

_mg_8279-3WE TOOK OUR DERBY FASHIONS TO ANGEL’S ENVY IN LOUISVILLE FOR AN INDUSTRIALLY-CHIC SHOOT THAT INCLUDED A GLIMPSE OF THE DISTILLERY’S CO-FOUNDER AND CHIEF INNOVATION OFFICER WES HENDERSON AND LEAD DISTILLERY OPERATOR ANDREW HENDERSON

PHOTOGRAPHY BY Christian Watson
STYLING BY Miranda McDonald
SHOT ON LOCATION AT Angel’s Envy Distillery
MODELS: Shantay Chandler, Katya Estes and Ross Wallace


LOCATION

Angel’s Envy Distillery
500 E. Main St.
Louisville
angelsenvy.com
502.890.6300

MAKEUP & HAIR

Strandz Salon and Threadz Boutique
322 Vincennes St.
New Albany
812.945.5480
strandzandthreadz.com

PARTICIPATING BOUTIQUES

Sapphire on Spring Boutique:
326 Spring St.
Jeffersonville
812.920.0017
sapphireboutique.com

Ben Franklin Crafts New Albany
420 New Albany Plaza
New Albany
812.944.1215
benfranklinartsandframing.com

HIM Gentlemen’s Boutique
314 Pearl St.
New Albany
812.595.7752

Strandz Salon and Threadz Boutique
322 Vincennes St.
New Albany
812.945.5480
strandzandthreadz.com


Shantay in CQ by CQ Polka Dot Dress from Sapphire on Spring $78 / Black Fascinator from Ben Franklin $59.95 / Eric Casual Pants from Strandz and Threadz $49 Katya in Print Eric Casual Pants from Strandz and Threadz $49 / Bow Tie Blouse from Mariposa

Shantay in CQ by CQ Polka Dot Dress from Sapphire on Spring
$78 / Black Fascinator from Ben Franklin $59.95 / Eric Casual Pants from Strandz and Threadz $49
Katya in Print Eric Casual Pants from Strandz and Threadz $49 / Bow Tie Blouse from Mariposa

Shantay in CQ by CQ Tan Ruffle Dress from Sapphire on Spring $49 / Black Sheer top from Strandz and Threadz $44.99 / Black Fascinator from Ben Franklin $54.99

Shantay in CQ by CQ Tan Ruffle Dress from Sapphire on Spring $49 / Black Sheer top from Strandz and Threadz $44.99 / Black Fascinator from Ben Franklin $54.99

Katya in Minuet Feather Dress from Sapphire on Spring $89 / Fascinator from Ben Franklin $59.99 / Mary Francis Horse Handbag from Sapphire on Spring $260

Katya in Minuet Feather Dress from Sapphire on Spring $89 / Fascinator from Ben Franklin $59.99 / Mary Francis Horse Handbag from Sapphire on Spring $260

Ross in Calvin Klein Sport Jacket $210 / Bonobos Pants $98 / Ledbury Shirt $145 / Johnston Murphy Shoes $169 / Ray Ban Sunglasses $180 / Stetson Hat $200 (all from HIM Boutique)

Ross in Calvin Klein Sport Jacket $210 / Bonobos Pants $98 / Ledbury Shirt $145 / Johnston Murphy Shoes $169 / Ray Ban Sunglasses $180 / Stetson Hat $200 (all from HIM Boutique)

Katya in Strut & Bolt Red Jumpsuit from Sapphire on Spring $64 / Black Fascinator from Ben Franklin $49.99

Katya in Strut & Bolt Red Jumpsuit from Sapphire on Spring $64 / Black Fascinator from Ben Franklin $49.99

Shantay in Charlie Page Dress from Strandz and Threadz $56.99 / Red Hat from Ben Franklin $53.99

Shantay in Charlie Page Dress from Strandz and Threadz $56.99 / Red Hat from Ben Franklin $53.99

Shantay in Minuet Pink Dress from Sapphire on Spring $48 / CQ by CQ Pink Jacket from Sapphire on Spring $58 / Fascinator from Sapphire on Spring $65

Shantay in Minuet Pink Dress from Sapphire on Spring $48 / CQ by CQ Pink Jacket from Sapphire on Spring $58 / Fascinator from Sapphire on Spring $65

Ross in Paisley and Gray Suit in Navy $300 / Mizzen and Main Shirt $145 / Tie Bar Bow Tie $20 / Ray Ban Sunglasses $200 / Johnston and Murphy Shoes $169 (all from HIM Boutique)

Ross in Paisley and Gray Suit in Navy $300 / Mizzen and Main Shirt $145 / Tie Bar Bow Tie $20 / Ray Ban Sunglasses $200 / Johnston and Murphy Shoes $169 (all from HIM Boutique)

Katya in Minuet Floral Dress from Sapphire on Spring $82 / Strut & Bolt Tan Jacket from Sapphire $54 / Vintage Hat from Mariposa

Katya in Minuet Floral Dress from Sapphire on Spring $82 / Strut & Bolt Tan Jacket from Sapphire $54 / Vintage Hat from Mariposa

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5 Items Every Woman Should Have in Their Wardrobe

FASHION IS CYCLICAL. TRENDS COME AND GO, AND THEN COME BACK AGAIN. HOWEVER, THERE ARE FEW TRENDS THAT RECENTLY MADE THEIR WAY BACK AROUND THAT HAVE SOME SERIOUS STAYING POWER BECAUSE OF THEIR VERSATILITY.

BY MIRANDA MCDONALD | PHOTOS BY CHRISTIAN WATSON

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Pretty Pleats, Please: Yes, my style mavens, pleats are making a comeback. However, think of the high-waisted trousers that Katharine Hepburn made uber chic in the ’30s instead of the unflattering silhouettes often associated with school uniforms. Luckily, pleats are being placed on such a variety of style staples that you can either pay homage to the Hollywood starlet’s enviable style by donning a pair of wide leg trousers with a higher waistline, or you can embrace a more feminine approach by trying out a mid-length dress boasting pleats. Just remember to keep the rest of your look simple so that you aren’t adding unnecessary volume to the rest of your silhouette.

_mg_9101Make It a Mule: If you only invest in one piece of footwear this season, make it a mule. Originating in the 17th century as a slipper and heel hybrid, this versatile shoe is still relevant today. The style can be found on loafers, pumps, sandals and even sneakers. However, it is its ability to effortlessly transition from season to season that has kept it relevant for so many years. Choose a heeled, embellished pair for a night out, or a simple black loafer version for lunch with friends. With the mule, the options are really endless when it comes design and how you wear them.

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The Constant Companion: If there is one accessory that repeatedly makes its way back into our fashion repertoire, it’s the silk scarf. It is a truly versatile accessory that keeps us style mavens coming back for more. Right now, it is all about printed confections. I suggest investing in a piece that boasts a classic floral print in a mostly neutral color palette so that it will transition effortlessly from season to season. Neutral florals also pair nicely with other prints, such as the classic stripe, and even mix well with other florals. Still not sure how to style it? Tie the scarf into your ponytail for an instantly chic look or use it as a headband for something more playful. You can also add some serious panache to a simple top and jeans by donning it around your neck. Fashion should not only be about self-expression, but also about having fun. The silk scarf is a piece that reminds us of that.

_mg_8965A Not So New Neckline: There are few fashion trends from the nineties that truly have a timeless sense of style appeal. The mock neck – a design that resides somewhere between a turtleneck and the crew style – is a collar that was popularized during the era and has been revisited time and time again. For some, this crossbred neckline seems quite confusing, but I believe it is this middle ground that makes the mock neck such a transitional piece. How so? You don’t have to commit to the full turtleneck in the fall and have an extra inch or two of warmth on those cooler days in the spring. Did I also mention that you can easily layer a mock neck for colder weather and still look oh-so-chic? Sounds like a win-win to me.

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Waxing Poetic

screen-shot-2019-03-07-at-4-41-17-pmBody & Brow’s Kate Pridham and her team offer top-notch waxing services – and more – in New Albany.

BY LAURA ROSS | PHOTOS BY CHRISTIAN WATSON

If you live in Southern Indiana, you don’t have to travel across the bridge to Louisville for top-notch pampering and excellent services. That’s the message Kate Pridham, owner of Body & Brow Boutique, 141 E. Spring St., wants you to know.

“I am from Louisville and I chased a boy (her husband, John Ashton) across the bridge and fell in love with him and with Southern Indiana,” Pridham said. “I saw the need and opportunity for this type of service in Southern Indiana, and in 2016 I opened a body waxing boutique and specialized in full body waxing for men and women. We focused on a lot of brows and Brazilian waxes, and then started doing makeup lessons and special occasion makeup due to heavy demand.”

As her business grew, Body & Brow added additional services, including a full line of makeup, bridal makeup, air-brush spray tans and more. Customers from across Southern Indiana and Louisville flock to Pridham’s cozy downtown location, which has grown to include six beauty technicians.

“I chose downtown New Albany because I wanted this to be a destination location,” said Pridham, who has also proudly serves an unofficial ambassador for the area and her fellow business owners.

“Customers can get their brows done here, then grab a bite to eat or pop in a boutique like Dress & Dwell – which is across the street – and enjoy their day,” Pridham said. “There are so many small, locally-owned businesses in downtown New Albany. We try to guide our clients elsewhere and support our neighboring businesses.”

Body & Brow aims to provide affordable skin care and pampering for women and men of all ages. “We want people to come in and feel great about themselves at an affordable price,” said Pridham. “We listen to our customers and adapt our services to their needs. We often have entire families come for services, or co-workers, friends – the works. We have several men and high school boys who come in for brow waxes. We even recently did a leg wax for an 87-year-old customer.”

Customer Mary Pat Currin agrees: “My whole family uses this salon, including my boys. It’s usually a family affair when we make an appointment, and the Body & Brow team is so accommodating to our schedule so that we don’t have to make numerous trips. They always explain each service and answer any question we might have. And we always look forward to our appointment because it feels like we are going to catch up with old friends.”

Communication with clients is key in providing the best services, Pridham said. “We deal in a very personal business,” she explained. “I found when I opened my business that people complained about waxing services (conducted) at the shampoo bowl in other salons, so I personalized it and made it private. Every service at Body & Brow is conducted in a private room, in a very discreet environment. As an added touch, after every facial service, we reapply makeup, and put a cooling ointment on your face, so if you’re on your lunch break, no one will know you came here for waxing services.”

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Every technician at Body & Brow is educated as well. “They’re all cosmetologists and go through licensing updates and are required to do continuing education,” Pridham said. “We keep up with all the trends in beauty and service. We’ve even attended a transgender beauty class to learn the special needs there. We are continually updating our business plan every year to focus on the needs and wants of our clients.” Pridham holds numerous certifications herself, including Brazilian waxing, eyelash extensions, threading, lash perming, spray tanning and microblading.

Speaking of trends, Pridham sees 2019 as the year of healthy skin care. “Taking care of your skin is key,” she said. “Move away from the tanning bed and do spray tans instead. Add sunscreen to your routine. Dermaplaning (scraping off the outer most layer of dead skin with a blade) is a huge trend because there is zero down time. It’s a quick service and leaves your skin healthy and glowing. It’s geared toward the working woman and is a fast, efficient service – in and out in 30 minutes.”

In fact, Pridham has recently hired a skin care specialist, Morgan Schmidt, who will focus on dermaplaning, microdermabrasion, chemical peels and clinical-driven facials with proven results. “Morgan joins us in March, and we will have several specials on our social media pages to welcome new clients to Brow & Body for our enhanced skin care services,” she said.

Spring is always a fresh, busy time for Brow & Body. Between prom season, Spring Break, weddings, and Derby time, Pridham and her staff will be hopping.

The ladies at Body & Brow are fabulous and always cheerful and accommodating,” said customer Emily Sprigler. “I look forward to my appointments in their clean, relaxing environment, and I like trying the new products that they always have.”

“Investing in self-care is important,” said Pridham. “You won’t regret it. As beauty professionals, we want women to feel good about themselves.”

Investing in self care is important. -Body & Brow Boutique Owner Kate Pridham

Investing in self care is important. -Body & Brow Boutique Owner Kate Pridham

And, in a cozy, friendly spot in New Albany, regular customers create special relationships. “Our clients tell us that we are like family. In fact, we go to their bridal and baby showers,” laughed Pridham. “It’s an intimate service and environment here. We live their lives with them and become friends and confidants. I love that part of my job.”

Body & Brow Boutique, 141 E. Spring Street in New Albany, is open 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. For information about services and to book appointments, call 812.225.9191, visit bodyandbrow.com or follow @bodyandbrow on Facebook and Instagram.

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A New Life

Michelle Wells offers fashion and friendliness at Mariposa Consignments

By Remy Sisk

Photos by Christian Watson

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PULL QUOTE: “We get new items not only daily but hourly.” –Mariposa Consignments owner Michelle Wells

 

In downtown New Albany’s eclectic cultural landscape, Mariposa Consignments sits nestled on Pearl Street between Market and Main. A unique boutique, Mariposa offers an extraordinary range of like-new, vintage and brand-new fashions that vary from high-end to completely affordable. The shop is owned by Michelle Wells, an experienced Southern Indiana retailer and style icon. After a dynamic career in fashion, Wells is more than content to be running her own store, happily serving the residents of Kentuckiana.

 

“My grandmother was a seamstress. She always made our clothes when we were kids, and I think that’s definitely part of how I became interested in fashion,” Wells said.

 

Growing up, she was encouraged by her family to get a job if she wanted to buy her own clothes (her first aspirational purchase at 14 was a pair of Jordache jeans). So, she accepted a position at a Paul Harris clothing store. From then on, Wells was immersed in fashion and has spent three-quarters of her life in the fashion and retail industry.

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Several years ago while working as a manager for a furniture store chain, Wells realized she wanted to do something that made more of a difference in her local community. Consequently, she merged her passions and began operating Hosparus’s Spring Street thrift store. As the shop was relatively small and somewhat off the beaten path of New Albany shopping, Wells knew she had to take action to make this work. She formed relationships with other area consignment stores and greatly enhanced the stock at Hosparus, making it a viable destination for uncommon finds.

 

Wells’s efforts were successful; however, Hosparus eventually disbanded the store. But her work did not go unnoticed. In 2012, Laurie Jacobs, who opened Mariposa in 2010, called Wells and said that she wanted to move on with other ventures in her life. She knew Wells was good at her job and would ensure Mariposa’s survival. Jacobs asked Wells if she wanted the store at no cost. “She literally paid it forward,” Wells recounted. “She wanted it to continue and knew that I knew what I was doing since I’ve been in retail my whole life.”

 

Fast forward six years, and Mariposa is now a fashion staple of downtown New Albany, where Wells and her staff see new customers every day. After working for others throughout her life, Wells has found her place as a store owner and ushered in an era of growth at the shop, which is in no small part due to her business vision and ardent commitment to customer service. “My whole goal is for people to find something really unique, try a new fashion and not spend a fortune on it,” she said. “One of the things I strive for is old world customer service. … Going into the mall, you may not get greeted or you can’t find what you’re looking for or can’t find a salesperson anywhere – we hear that a lot from our customers. And here, regardless of if they’re spending $9 or $400, we treat them all the same – like old friends – and help them find whatever special treat they’re looking for.”

 

Her one tip for first-time and frequent shoppers alike: Come often. “We get new items not only daily but hourly,” Wells said. “We schedule consignments by appointment that are set up every hour, sometimes every half hour, and our goal – the staff and myself – is that it has to be out on the floor within 15 minutes.”

 

With repeat visits, customers will undoubtedly soon develop a diverse, singular wardrobe representative of their own style. And that comes from the top down. Wells’s own style has morphed over time, but she’s proud to wear her fashion sense with pride. “My own style has evolved over the years,” she affirmed. “It used to be probably more preppy and classic, you could say, but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve had the confidence to wear what I really, really love. I love vintage. My favorite piece is a 1950s housecoat that I wear as a dress. I just love wearing vintage pieces and mixing it up with current fashion or adding a little quirky touch to it.”

 

When customers walk into Mariposa, Wells utilizes this style confidence to encourage others to be open-minded and up for seeing pieces through a different lens – and that all starts with engaging with the shoppers. “You ask questions,” she said. “What is it that they like? And you try to get them to try something a little bit different or think of things in a different way.”

 

Mariposa is constantly stocking the shelves with new pieces. The best way to stay up to date is to follow the shop on Facebook, where photos of special pieces are frequent. For instance, Wells recalled, there was a recent time when she posted a dress online at 9:30 a.m. and not 20 minutes later, a customer, who’d taken an early lunch, bought the dress. If you’re seeking prom wear, keep an eye out January through March, and if your prom-goer finds her dress at Mariposa and lets the store snap a photo, you get 15 percent off the gown.

 

Regardless of what you’re looking for, however, you can be certain that at Mariposa you won’t just be able to explore a fabulous collection of fashions but you also will be treated as if Wells and her staff have known you all their lives.

 

And if you can only buy one thing, Wells said with certainty there is one item everyone should have in their wardrobe: “The best pair of shoes you can buy!”

 

Five Tips for Finding Your Signature Style

By Michelle Wells

  1. Figure out your body type.
  2. Find a celebrity who has your body type and whose clothing you like – not to copy them but to find the designer that makes clothing for your body type.
  3. Find your color palette.
  4. Wear what you LOVE.
  5. Invest in quality.