Tuesday, November 21, 2017
Business

Stylish Spring Hill boutique has developed a loyal customer base

RECOMMENDED READING


SPRING HILL — Building relationships with customers has kept them coming back to Fine Lines Boutique, a cottage-size women's shop that's big on style.

Over the past 15 years, personal attention has built buyers so loyal that they bring visiting friends and family to shop, as well, owners Janet Schuller and Lois Dias say.

Word of mouth has fostered new patrons, a good thing since the shop doesn't advertise and, although it carries a Mariner Boulevard address, the storefront in Mariner Village East isn't visible from the main thoroughfare.

Those who find the boutique are often bedazzled by the upscale "casual, classy sports, cruisey" wear, as Schuller describes it, along with one-of-a-kind handbags, understated accessories and high-end costume jewelry.

"All the companies we buy from," Dias said, "don't sell to department stores, only to boutiques."

Added Schuller: "We don't buy more than four of a kind of anything, so you don't see yourself coming. Women like different."

That's especially important in small communities, Dias said.

Even when Schuller and Dias shop among wholesale fashion houses, they do so with particular customers in mind. For instance, "customers will tell us they have a wedding coming up, and we buy (appropriately) for them," Dias said.

Also, the duo has a knack for putting together ensembles. If a patron were to choose a smartly styled and fitted dress, Schuller or Dias will dash off to their accessory collection for a necklace or scarf to complete the look.

On a recent Thursday, regular customer Jane Henkel of Weeki Wachee breezed in to look at jewelry for an upcoming wedding.

"They have statement jewelry," Henkel said. "And then, of course, I found something else."

The latter was a short cape jacket of a silky jersey feel, Schuller's suggestion in case the wedding weekend up North turned chilly.

"I'm really a boutique shopper, and they know me," Henkel said.

As for fabrics and manufacturers, Schuller said, "They are different from when we started." She called current U.S.-made fabrics "garbage." Much of today's boutique wear is of European fabric sewn into garments by Canadian companies, Schuller said. Additionally, they say their garments don't require dry cleaning.

"We're always looking for new and different," she said.

Fringe and lace are big for fall. The look of denim is being transposed to jersey and silky fabrics, often stitched with lace or highlighted with attached faux jewels. Embroidered garments continue to sell.

Fine Lines Boutique also sponsors a fundraising fashion show annually. In April, 300 attendees helped to raise $10,500 for the Crescent Community Clinic in Spring Hill. The next fashion event will benefit the Hernando County Education Foundation, with details to be announced at a later date.

Contact Beth Gray at [email protected]

Comments
A new threat this shopping season: toys that can spy on kids

A new threat this shopping season: toys that can spy on kids

ST. PETERSBURG — Not all sinister toys are as obvious as a Chucky doll. Many present more subtle threats — choking hazards, high lead content, privacy concerns. And as the biggest shopping season of the year kicks off, consumer advocates are urging s...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Indian automaker plant is latest sign of Detroit comeback

Indian automaker plant is latest sign of Detroit comeback

It has been years since Detroit, birthplace of the American auto industry, was a steady producer of the manufacturing jobs that defined it as the Motor City. But its comeback is entering a new phase.The latest milestone came this week, with the annou...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Big Tobacco’s anti-smoking ads begin after decade of delay

Big Tobacco’s anti-smoking ads begin after decade of delay

Associated PressWASHINGTON — Decades after they were banned from the airwaves, Big Tobacco companies return to prime-time television this weekend — but not by choice. Under court order, the industry for the first time will be forced to advertise the ...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Ybor ’s first public school, long gone, still has a story to tell about district’s history

Ybor ’s first public school, long gone, still has a story to tell about district’s history

TAMPAIt’s been more than a century since Ybor City’s first public school was demolished on the plot of land now identified as 1311 E Eighth Ave.For the past 22 years, the popular concert venue New World Brewery took up the space and one next door. No...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Barricades reinforce security for holiday events on St. Petersburg’s downtown waterfront

Barricades reinforce security for holiday events on St. Petersburg’s downtown waterfront

ST. PETERSBURG — World and national tragedies are changing the city’s approach to security for special events at North Straub Park.With the approach of the holidays, concrete barricades have been erected at a section of the park’s perimeter, where Fo...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Copa Airlines to fly daily nonstop from Tampa to Panama next summer

Copa Airlines to fly daily nonstop from Tampa to Panama next summer

TAMPA — Panama’s Copa Airlines, which four years ago became the first airline to offer service between Panama and Tampa Bay, said it is increasing its nonstop service between Tampa International Airport and Panama City to daily flights starting in Ju...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Irma did not stop tourists from setting record visits to Florida so far in 2017

Irma did not stop tourists from setting record visits to Florida so far in 2017

Despite Hurricane Irma, Florida hit another record high number in tourists visiting the state in the first nine months of this year, according to figures released this week.Visit Florida, the state’s tourism bureau, said 88.2 million visitors came to...
Published: 11/21/17
FCC chairman unveils proposal to repeal net neutrality

FCC chairman unveils proposal to repeal net neutrality

WASHINGTON — Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai on Tuesday followed through on his pledge to repeal 2015 regulations designed to ensure that internet service providers treat all online content and apps equally, setting up a showdown ...
Published: 11/21/17
Crime Stoppers, Straz Foundation still working out Seminole Heights reward money

Crime Stoppers, Straz Foundation still working out Seminole Heights reward money

TAMPA — You can collect $110,000 in reward money for information leading to an arrest in the Seminole Heights killings, but for now you’ll have to make two stops.The David A. Straz Foundation announced Monday it would contribute $10,000 to a reward f...
Published: 11/21/17
Hurricane Irma hurt some Tampa Bay home sales even in October

Hurricane Irma hurt some Tampa Bay home sales even in October

Pinellas County home sales took another hurricane-related hit in October as the rest of the Tampa Bay area bounced back from Hurricane Irma.But while prices in all four counties rose once again, the rate of increase continues to slow. Hillsborough’s...
Published: 11/20/17
Updated: 11/21/17