1/10/11

NOCO Review: Andrea's Boutique

This is a piece I recently wrote for NOCO, an online magazine for North St. Louis County....

Glamorous and Florissant are two words I wouldn’t normally use together, but that’s before Andrea’s Boutique opened its doors. NOCO contributor Annie Haarmann has the full scoop on this fabulous new retailer…

North County now has a taste of high-end fashion thanks to Andrea D’Angelo, 26, owner of the new Andrea’s Boutique in Florissant. A lifelong resident of the area, D’Angelo attended Hazelwood Central High School and Florissant Valley Community College before moving to Los Angeles not long ago. On the west coast she found a world of creative opportunities, but St. Louis still called to her.

“I enjoyed my time in L.A., but it is really good to be back home,” she says. “Several of my family members own businesses in North County, so it is great to have support from all of them as I start a business for the first time.”

D’Angelo’s motivation for opening a boutique in Florissant was that there aren’t any others like it in the area. “I was sick of having to drive a long distance to other parts of the St. Louis area just to find a unique accessory,” she says. Her boutique offers an array of new and gently used items, including beautiful purses and jewelry. The store also sells quality vintage clothing, artwork and home décor.

“The biggest difference between running a boutique in L.A. and running one in Florissant is that instead of vendors coming to me, I have to seek them out,” D’Angelo explains. But North County teens will be thrilled to learn that Andrea’s is expecting some beautiful formal dresses just in time for prom. With its impressive selection of new purses and jewelry, the boutique is a one stop shop for that unique prom style.

“Our jewelry is very popular,” D’Angelo says. “These aren’t the kind of items you find at a discount store that stocks tons of the same piece. They’re really high quality and often there is only one available so you can be sure that you aren’t going to see it anywhere else.” But despite the high quality and uniqueness of the items, Andrea’s keeps prices reasonable, ranging between $4 and $40.

Each room of the boutique is devoted to clothing and accessories, vintage décor or art. One of the most vibrant areas is D’Angelo’s gallery, where she displays her beautiful abstract paintings.

“I’ve always had a wide variety of interests like music, fashion and art,”she says. “When I came home from L.A., I knew I wanted to do something I really loved, so this store was a way for me to mix my passions together.”

The location – a cute little bungalow on N. Lafayette – affords D’Angelo plenty of extra space to grow in the future. She has plans to renovate the attic for additional retail space someday, and would like to hold an outdoor sale in the parking lot when the weather warms up. Of course, as a boutique owner, the stylish brunette says she now faces an interesting challenge: “It is so hard for me not to buy everything myself!”

Andrea’s Boutique is located at 1145 N. Lafayette, Florissant, MO 63031. Hours: Tuesday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Phone: (314)831-7500. You can read more about the shop’s ever-changing inventory on Facebook.