Monday, May 7, 2012

A Girl’s Eye Review: Clothes Hound Boutique

It’s happened one too many times. I’ve stepped out in my carefully selected outfit of cuteness and bumped right into another sister who’d obviously been just as careful and selected to wear the exact brand of cuteness I was wearing. NOT COOL! True, greater crimes have been committed than sharing the same great taste as I. I totally get that. But what’s a girl wishing to establish her unique fashion identity without breaking her budget to do?

I have always dreamed of being a boutique shopper, but I used to think boutiques were a fashion luxury I simply couldn’t afford. Quite possibly years ago that was true, but thankfully I’m finding that’s not so today. Today, if you love to look uniquely beautiful (like I certainly do) and doing so on a budget brings you unspeakable joy, there are quite a few boutiques to satisfy every budget. I’m here to help you find them.

Boutique Peek: Clothes Hound, Raleigh, NC

“I want people to feel like they’re coming over to their girlfriend’s house or shopping their girlfriend’s closet…” – Bryce Batts, owner/operator

Girlfriends, if you’re in or around the vicinity of Raleigh, North Carolina you must make it your business to take a look-see into the area’s fresh new fashion closet called Clothes Hound. Recently, I had the pleasure of hanging out with the boutique’s Senior Fashionista (that’s my fashion speak for owner/operator), Bryce Batts, in her store for A Girl’s Eye View Boutique Peek.  Here’s the skinny (not jeans) on what I learned:

Who: Bryce Batts, Senior Fashionista (owner, operator)

What: Clothes Hound

Where: Raleigh, North Carolina (North Raleigh to be exact)

When: Clothes Hound opened its doors in June 2011. Bryce is gearing up for her big 1 year anniversary. I can’t say for sure, but she hinted toward a celebration complete with sweets treats and maybe even a few sale signs. 🙂

Why: Because it’s in her blood!! Ok, so those are my words, not hers. Here’s what she had to say about why she opened a clothing boutique: I’ve always, always had an interest in fashion [and] retail, and I always wanted to have a store. My parents are entrepreneurs, and it’s just something I was always interested in.” See! I told you. IN. HER. BLOOD.

The Merch: 10% of Clothes Hound’s merchandise is from local designers (now isn’t that cool), but Clothes Hound keeps it diverse, featuring fashion from Australian designers and Canadian designers, as well. Outside of the Tarheel state, from around the good ol’ U.S. of A., Bryce brings in wares from trailblazing fashion locales like Los Angeles and New York City.

When asked whether or not she is a designer, Bryce commented, “No, I wish I was that creative.” Believe me; she definitely played her modesty card there, because as I dug a little deeper I found her creative juices splashed all over the layout and design of the store.

So, I know you’re wondering where the name came from. Well, it all started with Bryce reading an US Weekly magazine article that referenced the Olsen twins (Mary Kate and Ashley) as “clothes hounds.” Stitch to that her love for dogs, and the creative play on words made for a perfect boutique fit.

Clothes Hound is big on customer service, and it shows. Bryce and her team enjoy responding to the needs and requests of their customers, and they do a super job connecting with them on Twitter, Facebook and through great blog posts on the Clothes Hound website. Speaking of websites: if you don’t live in the North Carolina area, never fear. Your fresh, unique new fashion find is just a click away, and you can start by clicking right here.

Click here to see the dress (don’t forget to check out the rear view to get the FULL view) I went home with. And this precious owl ring was more than worth the trip. When he’s not perched on one of my fingers he’s keeping watch over my necklace tree. 😀

“Contemporary, on trend, but still affordable” is how Bryce describes the styles you’ll fall in love with at Clothes Hound, and I found this to be right on the mark.  But don’t take my word for it. You’ll have to sneak a peek at this boutique yourself. Try Clothes Hound on for size, and tell them A Girl’s Eye View sent you.