“We’re going to give away gifts every half hour, with refreshments and other special treats,” said owner Olivia Powers. “The fun will continue from 11 a.m. until 8 p.m. as a way to show that we do everything we can to please the ladies who shop here.”
Before opening the boutique nearly a year ago, Olivia honed her business skills in other pursuits, such as running her own surf ‘n’ turf-style restaurant in southwest Jefferson County. When she closed it in 1985, she began looking for a new enterprise.
“I had started getting bored,” she said. “I like being creative, so I went to an auction and bought two truckloads of materials, including beads and leather for making belts and jewelry. There I was with a basement full of stuff I’d bought, so I figured that I should make some money with it.”
Olivia found that it was surprisingly easy to make earrings and other accessories; in fact, the most difficult aspect of her new endeavor was finding a steady supply of the materials she wanted. Her next step was to search for stores and shows in which she could sell her handmade wares.
“It wasn’t very hard, because I had good friends helping me,” she said. “I even went to Florida and found about 10 stores that wanted to sell my merchandise.”
Thanks to those friends, along with customers who were charmed by her creations, Olivia branched out into personal shopping. Time and again, she traveled to New York to scout for top fashions on behalf of her clients. In the back of her mind, however, she couldn’t shake the dream of opening a clothing store of her own.
Last September, she made her wish come true. Today, Olivia & Co. Boutique is the exclusive local retailer for brands such as Simon Chang and is brimming with stylish apparel by Dolce Vita, Sao Paolo and Alberto Makali – even comfortable shoes by Onex.
“I’ve actually been kind of surprised at how well we’ve been doing. Once people know we’re here, we’ll do even better,” she said. “We try to please everybody: We carry a wide range of sizes, including bigger ones, and we have a hat designer on site before Derby. If we don’t have what a shopper wants, we’ll do our best to get it or help her find it.”
Olivia & Co. Boutique, which is located in the (Hunnington Place shopping center, 1850 S. Hurstbourne Pkwy., is open Monday and Saturday, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.; Thursday, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.; Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; and is closed on Sunday. For information, phone 502.384.3694.
photos by Mary Alan Woodward
Category: Business Profile