Special thanks to Abby Eisner for helping out with this post!! xo
A small town on the shoreline of Connecticut, Branford has always had a reputation for having amazing restaurants and stylish (but expensive) boutiques. For local high school students and women, shopping local can be intimidating by the sometimes unaffordable prices. Needless to say, Polished Boutique was welcomed with open arms – filling a much needed void for fashionistas on a budget.
Walking in to the intimate boutique, you feel like you are walking into Lisa’s (Polished’s owner) closet. From florals to studs – and everything in between, you can find pieces for any occasion. Designers include Blu Pepper, Ya Los Angeles, Ark & Co, and Elan International. Each piece is brought into Polished Boutique in a limited amount to maintain uniqueness to the customers.
Not able to make it into the store? No problem. Shop Polished Boutique online at www.shoppolished.com – let us know what your favorite pieces are for spring and summer! Stay tuned for future outfits posts featuring pieces from Polished Boutique!
Want to know more about Polished Boutique and Lisa’s journey? Read our interview below!
What made you decide to make your own boutique? How did you get started?
Growing up in Branford, I always wished I had a go-to boutique right in town that I could afford and shop anytime I needed a new outfit. I always had to travel out of town and head to the mall or TJ Maxx. I envisioned opening my own store and what it would be like to have a small business in the town I grew up in but honestly didn’t think at the time it’d become my reality!
I worked in retail management for different companies but just never saw the future in it. When I lost my job in 2011, my mother came in with her courage and support and we decided to begin an e-commerce business selling clothing and accessories. At the time, I wasn’t planning an actual brick and mortar, but my mom had big ideas. In August of 2012 she took me to a vacant space on Main Street. When I saw the space was 1122, which is my birth date, I felt it was now or never. If it weren’t right here on Main St- it wouldn’t be at all.
What do you feel makes “Polished” stand out from other local boutiques?
We are affordable and exclusive in the unique pieces we bring in. Our target market is the Y-Generation, though we’ve also pleased and retained consumers of all ages. We offer a discount to students who present us with their Honors Cards from the Branford High School to promote my vision in being a go-to shopping destination on a budget. Feedback we’ve received has let us know we’ve become recognized as the town’s dress store, since we carry them year-round and at a great price-point. We carry a line of earrings called JoJo Loves You Blings, which have really caught attention and are highly sought after by the girls for their multi-colored Swarovski Crystal studs.
I also think our individualized and friendly customer service sets us apart. Having grown up in town, and my parents owning businesses in town, my mother and I know the majority of our shoppers. The atmosphere usually feels like you’re shopping with your friends, especially for me when I’m in on a Saturday, it’s always a reunion!
Any advice for others hoping to start their own boutique?
Do your research, talk to people who have done it. I’m learning every step of the way and am always talking to people in the business. Things are always evolving and you have to be able to keep up with it. If you believe in something, and have the passion to drive it, take a chance and don’t listen or allow negativity around you. Believe in yourself, and always be professional.
What do you think the best spring 2014 trends will be? What are your favorite trends for spring?
It’s always interesting to see what the new hot color of the season will be. You’ll be seeing a lot of Vibrant Orchid this Spring, but you will also continue to see a lot of mint and coral from last Spring. Things to look out for are billowy wide-leg pants, matching crop top and short/skirt ensembles (yes and we heart it), and my favorite of the season- spring knits. I’m guilty of loving to pair a lightweight knit with pair of shorts, or over a dress.
Anything else you would like to share about your store?
My mom and I take a lot of pride in our little baby and have big plans for the future. We love seeing the store grow and getting feedback from our community. We get shipments each week of new arrivals and post to our Instagram and facebook accounts. We also sell online through a unique shopping community called Shoptiques, for people who enjoy shopping local boutiques. We host special events throughout the year and even hit the road bringing our product to outside events. We welcome the opportunity to partner with others and are helping to create awareness of how great the town of Branford is for shopping and dining, amongst other things. We hope if you have enjoyed reading about our story, you will visit us and follow our journey on social media!
xo, Lisa Feniola