A Funky Boutique Review & Interview: Featuring Penelope T. Boutique!

Here’s the thing I’m a sucker for local or online boutiques, fashion designers, and stylish celebs. But I love to write reviews and spot out the best within fashion collections, or items from online and local boutiques. Yet it takes a while to do and time is always of the essence. So with that in mind I wanted to welcome something new to my blog and outline a new snippet within the fashion community.

Recently I was introduced to a fashion boutique in the heart of Florida. Maybe you’ve notice in my past posts that I love to talk about the hot but fun beach life of Florida, but I never wrote which city I’m actually from. So being from Jacksonville, FL I’m introduced to some great fashion moments. Which is why I’m waking up viewers to this city, and showing you how divine this place really is when it comes to exploring new styles. It’s a city filled with hidden gems which is always fun to find, plus you never know what you’ll whine up with in the fashion department.

But allow me tell you about another hidden gem that’s already charmed Tampa, FL. And now it’s charming the city of Jacksonville, FL or Jacksonville Beach. In April Penelope T boutique opened in my lovely city and I was there when it opened and gladly bought me something I’ll show you later on…

With a fabulous store like Penelope T. I wanted to know more and discover it’s name. Because every boutique I’ve been into has a story within the owners or within the store. The designs and the décor shows us as shoppers what’s trendy and hot for the season. And Penelope T embeds style plus it shows within their garments. There items alone spoke so much volume in the world of fashion when I walked in. So I immediately thought how cool would it be to feature them and have a little in depth interview feature on my blog.

Well Now I Can Unveil The Fun Pictures of The Fab Boutique & Reveal The Sassy Interview To You!

So Enjoy & If You’re Ever In Tampa Or Jacksonville, FL Hit Up This Shop Trust Me You Won’t Be Disappointed!

Info On The Owners of Penelope T: Best Friends Nickie Riley & Manne White!

*Opened Their First Boutique: In Tampa, FL In 2005

*Opened The Second Boutique: In Jacksonville Beach In 2011

Enjoy The Fashionable Interview & Their Style Tips!

What’s Ya’ll Favorite Trend This Year? Why

Loving Fringe! We have been seeing this done in so many new, fresh ways from jewelry, to suede bright colored bags, to sweaters with knit fringe. It is such a modern take on the 70’s and we love the movement it creates on the body!

What Are The 5 Things You Two Couldn’t Live Without?

* Big Sunglasses

* Watch

* Bottle of water (convinced it keeps skin looking young)

* Phone that takes pictures (you never know when you will be inspired!)

* Lightweight patterned scarf stuffed in purse- for cold air conditioned rooms…

Name Some Important Fashion Accessories/Items Every Girl Should Own?

* Skinny black or blond elastics- to blend in with your hair on those days you just need to pull it back.

* A heel that is sexy yet comfortable– it is a never ending quest- if you find it let me know!

* A woven or wrap belt in a nude or neutral that can adjust from waist to hips- this accessory does not need to match your shoes and can instantly transform an outfit!

* A case for your sunglasses– if you have nice ones, this considerably lengthens their life span!! 

What Interest You Two To Become Boutique Owners, & What’s The Best Thing About It?

We moved to FL from NY with a fashion background and decided we didn’t want to get out of the fashion industry, both of our parents are business owners, and they were ultimately the support system and “cheerleaders” we needed to make the jump!

Best thing is being able to mold your business into something you can be proud of, and being able to look back upon challenges we have overcome and feel grateful to have learned these lessons.

Describe Ya’ll Ideal Day To Evening Look?

I think you are saying if you can’t go home and change? If so I am a dress girl… living in FL dresses are a life saver… I love the idea of taking a simple tank dress and accessorizing.. maybe it is paired with some gold Grecian gladiator type sandals or ballet flats for day, with a lightweight cropped jacket and some ethnic inspired or wooden jewelry. To take it to night- I would say lose the jacket, belt the dress, change into heels or wedges and throw on some fun brassy gold jewels or chunky stone jewelry… a little lipstick and perfume help it to feel “nighttime” too.

We think there are a lot of great dress options out there now that can sort of go both ways- day or night. We do think it’s important not to get stuck in a box here by following rules too much- the most interesting people change it up and maybe wear heels during the day and flats at night- people just need to find their own style and have courage to be different! Also it is important to note- even though night looks tend to show more skin, we think a girl can still be sexy by keeping a balance of skin… maybe a mini dress with long sleeves or baggy jeans with a skinny tank- that sort of thing.

Which Celebrity Would You’ll Like To See Come In Penelope T & Why?

Hands down it would be Gwenyth Paltrow. We have both been obsessed with her since the movie Sliding Doors. Her style is incredible, she can act, cook, and sing. She is such a strong and smart women and a terrific role model in our opinion.

What’s The Most Challenging Part, When It Comes To Being A Fashion Boutique Owners?

There are so many challenging parts it is hard to name just one… from finding the right employees, to dealing with all of our different clothing vendors, to cash-flow management- every day brings on something else.

The most challenging part is trying to see the big picture and not let the little everyday issues that come up get you down. Buying is also very challenging as we buy about 6 months ahead of time and trying to predict size, color, and quantities of items is definitely a challenge.

With The Fun Name Like Penelope T What Does It Mean To Ya’ll Individually & As A Business?

The name was inspired by the British model Penelope Tree from the 60’s. We love all things of the era’s past, from furniture to clothing to art. From all that we have read about Penelope Tree, she was truly and individual that was not afraid to push the envelope and went by the beat of her own drum.

That time in the 60’s was such a fashion evolution and such inspiration for us and the way we portray the stores. In terms of buying we also try to stick to Penelope Tree’s ideals by not being afraid to try new things and encouraging our customers to think outside of the box the same way. We both individually are constantly striving to keep it fresh and not fall into a comfortable rut, both in fashion and in our lives in general.

When It Comes To Selecting Items For Your Boutiques, What Merchandise Do You’ll Look For?

Items we buy must be the right combination of price, style, and quality. We look for things that are a bit different but still understandable. We especially love new lines that aren’t already saturated in the market… new designers starting out that can deliver interesting products with a good fit that aren’t crazy expensive are like the Holy Grail of buying for us… Definitely challenging to find them!

Lastly What Made You, & Your Team Interested In Opening A Location Here In Jacksonville, FL?Manne and I have always dreamed of expanding, and her husband is from Jacksonville. When he got a job there, we started looking closer at the market and felt we had something different to offer than the existing stores that were already there. So far it has been a great move for us and the people have been very receptive to what we have to offer!

 Thanks To Nickie & Manne (Top-Notch Boutique A+ & Friendly Customer Service)

So Stay Tuned When I’ll Feature Another Great Boutique From My City!

~Brittany J.


2 Comments Add yours

  1. Hey Nickie,
    Your newest place looks fabulous……and this is a great piece……..We wish you both all kinds of
    good wishes for much success…..We’ll get up there one of these days.
    Blessings, Sue & Bill Ray

  2. Cheers for Penelope t’s!!!! Awesome article for a wonderful boutique.

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