A child picks a dandelion and the fluffy ball changes from a weed to a magical flower that can make wishes come true. That innocent image was the inspiration for Andie Frisbee’s Dandelion boutique, which opened in the Vogue Center in 2007.
“We should look at other objects the same way – not so seriously, but with a child’s eye,” she said. “The dandelion represents going beyond what is traditional and ‘proper’ to that which is unusual and individualistic.”
Before opening Dandelion, she learned the ropes of retail sales by working for her friend Sharalea Bollinger at the Lady Bug store in Prospect. Andie also studied interior architecture at the University of Louisville; but when she realized that the city was offering significant loans to women, she decided to open a shop of her own.
“Everything fell into place,” she said. “I live in the Highlands, and I passed the Vogue Center on my way to and from Lady Bug. This was where I saw everything happening. I knew it would be right for me.”
At first, she primarily stocked home décor items and furniture, while accepting interior design projects. Over the past couple of years, her focus has shifted to jewelry, handbags and gift selections.
“I have a huge love for jewelry, and that’s what I envisioned the store being in large part anyway,” she said. “The change has worked out well: The smaller inventory ‘moves’ a lot faster than sofas.”
Andie’s goal is to satisfy customers who are looking for “modern glamour” and more sparkle in their lives. Dandelion features local artist Julie Moore’s Cale & Cole pieces, which feature beautiful stones; her natural sapphires are cut so thin, light glows through them.
A wide range of hostess gifts, including unusual picture frames, bud vases and candles, also are available (with free gift-wrapping), as are hats made exclusively for Dandelion by designers in New York and Los Angeles.
“I’d say we have more modern gifts than traditional ones – a little more on the cutting edge,” she said. “A few years ago, we started selling Whisky Rocks, which keep drinks chilled without diluting them. They are now one of our biggest-selling gifts. They’re made in America, and we like to offer things that are.”
Handbags fashioned out of what has been dubbed “vegan leather” are increasingly popular. Although women are still investing in leather bags, Andie has found that many are impressed by the latest generation of manmade materials.
Dandelion customers also have become fans of fragrance and skin care products in Margot Elena’s TokyoMilk Dark collection. With names such as Arsenic, Bulletproof and Crushed, the perfumes and lotions have what Andie described as “more of a noir feel” than TokyoMilk’s more familiar Lollia line.
Dandelion has a special selection of gifts for babies and toddlers as well.
“We added children’s items a few years ago, and they’ve proven to be a good investment,” she said. “We take a modern approach, with things that are edgier than pink and blue bunnies. The Kiddo line of toys from New York is designed beautifully and kid-friendly.”
Andie is making plans for her next buying trip. In women’s accessories, she expects to find more large “statement” pieces of jewelry that dress up simple clothing.
“I’m looking forward to going to New York soon,” she said. “It will be exciting to see what’s going on. I can’t wait to show my customers what I’ve found, especially if it’s a bit unexpected.”
Dandelion, located in the Vogue Center, 3729 Lexington Road, is open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday-Saturday, and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday. For more information, visit www.dandelionhome.com or www.facebook.com/dandelion.home, or phone 502.899.3729.