Elizabeth Nowak loves to watch women shop. Her favorite part: seeing their excited expressions when they lock in on something they absolutely must have. That reaction is also the main reason she opened her own store, Elizabeth's Boutique.
Located in St. Pete Beach, the women's clothing store carries cruise wear, beach wear and resort wear. To the fashion laymen, these may sound the same, but there are differences.
Cruise wear items fit the slightly more formal dress code of a cruise ship while being easy to pack like the best selling Pretty Woman bolero jacket made with very light fabric that doesn't wrinkle ($34.99) or the Seven Way Scarf ($69.99) that can be worn as a top, cover up or pashmina. Beach wear pieces are worn, you guessed it, on the beach — a crochet mini skirt ($34.99), printed sarong ($29.99) or Morena Rosa Brazilian swimsuits ($149), for example. Resort wear is then reserved for a relaxed vacation wardrobe that can go from day to night, like a maxi skirt with elastic in six strategic places that mold to wearer's body ($54.99) or a lace and crochet white tunic ($69).
Because of its location across the street from a number of destination weddings, the store is also a go-to spot for last-minute gifts and details. Bridesmaids can get temporary gold and silver tattoos ($3) to add a little flair to their look and guests can buy a pair of flip flops that match their outfit (prices vary).
In order to keep things fun, Nowak also added a game of sorts to her store. Instead of putting the statement necklaces with Swarovski crystal details (prices range from $29.99 to $250) on sale, she makes "grab bags." The paper bags cost $10 and have at least $50 worth of jewelry (two or three necklaces) in them. The catch is that customers can't see what they are. They get a surprise and Nowak is reminded, as they look to see what they got, of why she opened the store in the first place.
Natalia Lima can be reached at [email protected]