Seattle Sunday: My Love Affair with Vixen Day Spa & Boutique
The pros of boutique shopping:
1. You get a piece that no one else has.
2. You have an interesting story to tell about your purchase.
3. Ideally, you have great customer service.
The potential cons of boutique shopping:
1. You walk out with one item, if any, because you simply can't afford the prices.
2. You feel judged when you walk in the door.
Enter Vixen Day Spa & Boutique in Magnolia: Your first and likely new favorite boutique (and day spa!). Owner Courean Napolitano opened the doors in 2002. An esthetician by trade, she started the business as a day spa and eventually expanded so that her loyal clientele could shop before a manicure, relaxing all the while.
As a personal stylist, it's common for clients to tell me that they love the idea of boutique shopping, but struggle with execution. Might I suggest Vixen as your introduction to boutiques?
5 Reasons to Visit Vixen
1. The Prices.
"My whole concept is to do the work behind the scenes to find the style at a price that's reasonable, " says Courean. And you can absolutely see that she's done that. On my most recent visit I found a plethora of jewelry in the $20-$30 range. And my favorite dresses in the shop were only $120. Naturally, there are pieces that are higher end. However, it is easy to find yourself with a new outfit and accessories without breaking the bank.
2. The Selection.
"You should feel like you are raiding your hip, fun girlfriend's closet," says Courean. She and her team are so committed to the moderate shopper that she visits Los Angeles six times per year to buy new pieces.
Courean swears by this approach saying that, "this allows me to see the whole collection instead of just the pieces the wholesalers and designers are promoting." She can be more selective.
These frequent trips and attention to value ensure a current and evolving selection. No need to worry that you'll buy a piece and it will go on sale soon after. Courean keeps prices reasonable and updates her inventory frequently, so there are only two sales per year. She also limits the number of pieces she purchases to 4-6 pieces of any style, with the exception of denim. That means that you won't run into another friend rocking the same look. Or, if you do see her in something similar, she will likely have paid much more for it.
3. The service.
I just love visiting Vixen. Everyone has mastered the art of helpfulness without being overbearing. That vibe is no accident. "I don't want you to feel like you are being judged when you walk in," says the owner. As it turns out, I'm not the only one who feels this way. Regular client, Elka Rouskov, happened to be shopping and was gushing about the experience throughout. It was so genuine, I couldn't help but ask her more about why she shops at Vixen.
"I'm always greeted with warmth and the best service. I sit down for my manicure and they give me a cup of tea. I love it. I enjoy playing around with the wonderful, unique selection. I'm so glad to be part of Magnolia because this is my local store."
4. Hello! There's a Spa!
They joys of boutique shopping are some of my favorites. But, throw in a mani and a pedi or a facial and it's all over. I'm in. In fact, the services range from spray tans to lashes and everything in between. One might expect that a boutique and spa would smell like chemicals. Not Vixen.
"We only use natural products for nails and don't use paint thinners. That means it doesn't smell," says Courean.
While I love the idea of natural nail polish, many women I know are often concerned that chemical-free polishes require you to sacrifice longevity. But Courean reassured me of the quality of their nail polish and that they never use paint thinners, which can result in a manicure that doesn't last as long. And like the apparel, the nail polishes are regularly refreshed.
5. The two "D"s: Denim and Discount.
While the stock turns over regularly, you can always count on high-quality denim from Red Engine. Courean never carries denim that she hasn't tried on first. And, in this case, she met with the owners and learned quite a bit about the line prior to carrying the brand. Sizes 25-31 are available and she's often rocking a pair.
Did I mention a discount? Indeed!
Poplin readers receive 10% off during the month of October.
You heard me. This, from a shop that only offers two sales per year. In fact, when you swing by, you can also pick up a complimentary Dermalogica sample, as well. (Vixen carries the line.)
Just tell them Poplin sent you!
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