I hope everyone had a Happy Turkey weekend! It’s been awhile, I took a slight hiatus with my blog, but I am back! One of my favorite things about fall is the cool crisp air and the change in colors of the leaves. Every night reminds me of Halloween. There is always something in the air. I look forward to checking out fall collections and frequent my favorite stores in search of something new or used. And here is one of them for my “Top 20 Getting To Know You”.
A few years ago I discovered a hidden gem in the South Granville Area. A little boutique called Oliver and Lilly’s owned and operated by the ever charming Leighann Boquist. There is never a moment when I’m not greeted with a warm smile and friendly demeanor. I always look forward to chatting with Leighann about the latest pieces she’s brought in and the cool vintage items she has placed around her gem. It has now become one of my favorite Go To shoppes when I am looking for something for an event, audition, or everyday wear. It has something to offer for the fashion forward gal. Whether it be casual or dressy, Oliver and Lilly’s offers a unique selection and a few of my personal favorite labels such as “Something Else” by Natalie Wood, Charlotte Ronson, Steven Alan and Alternative Apparel. I had the pleasure of learning a bit about Leighann and her fabulous store in my TOP 20: GETTING TO KNOW YOU. Enjoy! – Christina XO
Name: Leighann Boquist
Shoppe: Oliver & Lilly’s
1. Hot Chocolate OR Coffee with Bailey’s? Ooooh, for sure Coffee with baileys.
2. What inspired you to open Oliver & Lilly’s, and WHO are Oliver & Lilly? Oliver and Lilly are two names I came up with for a college project, and the names stuck with me when I decided to open a shop. As for what inspired me to open Oliver & Lilly’s… A little of everything really; I always wanted a shop to call my own and truly the timing was right.
3. What makes your shoppe stand out from the rest in the South Granville block? The bright red balloons and our approachable price range.
4. Describe a typical day for you? Lately it’s been… Wake at 5:30am pour myself a massive mug of coffee, head out to meet my friend for a run on the seawall. Home for coffee & breakfast, then start the workday which usually wraps up around 7 or 8 pm. Come home, throw on some comfies make or order in some dinner then just enjoy the evening. (Most days)
5. VOGUE or NYLON magazine? Vogue
6. How should a woman feel when they walk into your Shoppe? My hope is that everyone feels welcomed and comfortable. The shop has a lovely vibe to it, and we really hope others feel it too.
7. What are your 3 favorite words? ‘I love you’ and ‘hi auntie Lanny’
8. What are some of the brands in your store? And tell me why you chose these particulars. To name a few: Steven Alan, Heidi Merrick, Demylee, Ali Ro, James Jeans, Eze Sur Mer, Alternative Apparel (and more) All chosen because they’re the perfect blend for everyday wear.
9. If you were allowed only 3 items from your Shoppe to bring with you on a tropical island what would they be? Hmmm… well, a Cuche bikini for swimming, a Rocky Hoodie to keep me warm, and then a long Heidi Merrick dress for the tropical evenings; all worn with bare feet of course.
10. Describe your style: T-shirt meets cardigan meets jeans meets flats.
11. Do you believe white to be a faux pas after Labor Day? Not at all.
12. What have you learned from opening up your own business? I’ve learned the value of sleep and exercise.
13. Any advice for inspired entrepreneurs? My advice for inspiring entrepreneurs is to work in the specific industry that you are interested in. Get a taste for it; see if it’s really for you. Make a plan, do your research, and then just take the leap. Follow your instincts and you’ll be okay. Every day you’ll learn more efficient and effective ways to work the operations of your business. The biggest step is just getting started. It all will come together.
14. Who are your fashion influences? I’m presently inspired by Kerri Russell and Gwyneth Paltrow.
15. Rolling Stones OR KISS? Rolling Stones.
16. What is the most important piece of advice u give to a customer when they are trying on items in your Shoppe? I always express that it’s important to be comfortable in the items and to not have to fuss much with it. Who wants to always be adjusting / fussing with what they’re wearing throughout the day.
17. Tell me a little bit about your background. Did you go to Business OR Art School? I went to college for general studies and then to Blanche Macdonald and studied fashion. For the past 10 years I worked in the visual side of retail with smaller boutiques to large national chain stores. Come 2007 the American company I was working for was issuing layoffs and my department was one of them. It really was the perfect jumping point to begin considering starting my own business…. and well, now we’re here! And super happy to be here at that!
18. What did you want to be when you were a little girl? I wanted to be a choreographer for music videos. And then maybe Madonna, Debbie Gibson or Stacy Q (remember the song Two of Heart’s?) YES!!
19. Pretty In Pink OR Pretty Woman? Pretty Woman
20. Do you travel for work? If so, where is your favorite destination city? If not, where do you love to go for a weekend of fashion and fun? Right now we travel to Los Angeles for work. As for favorite destination cities for fashion and fun, I have three; New York, LA and San Francisco. Three completely opposite places, each with their own distinct vibes.
THANK YOU!!!!!!! GO AND CHECK OUT OLIVER AND LILLY’S!!! You Won’t Be Disappointed. I never am. Well only when I can’t buy. That’s one big BOO.