Have you been inside haven a boutique yet? Owner Rosemarie Leonardi has created a literal haven full of women’s apparel, accessories, jewlery, and unique gifts. With a beautiful interior, haven a boutique is Woodland’s hippest clothing store. Thank you to Rosemarie for bringing boutique style to Woodland – it’s what is needed and Woodland deserves to have such a stylish owner and store!
Here is my interview with Rosemarie.
What is haven a boutique?
It’s contemporary women’s fashion along with gifts, accessories. It’s just very unique, even art pieces. I really wanted to bring in not just wardrobe or clothing or apparel, but bring in a really great gifting environment too. We have gifts, gift cards, really wonderful handbags, handmade jewelry. Things that are really special and unique that you can’t just find anywhere else all in one location. I really wanted to make it just a haven. A really great safe place, a sanctuary, that’s what that means. Everyone who walks in here whether you’re excited to shop, or you’re not just having the best day and you want to come in and just browse and just chat. It’s really about just having a great time when you walk in here and feeling great.What lead you to open haven?
Yeah, I’ve been in retail for almost 30 years. I’ve worked with companies like Apple, Aveda and I have opened stores. I’ve run stores in different parts of the country. Just from that experience I really learned to not just train people but honestly know the best customer service, know how to approach that customer, know how to ask for the benefits, and know how to close. It isn’t so much just about opening your doors and selling, but really about building a relationship with every single customer that walks through the door. One of the more important things– my vision was really to have something for everyone, and that can be a little tough because there are so many types of people, bodies, sizes, and shapes. I have to say that the best feedback I’ve gotten is that I have something for everyone.
People have actually said that my price points are on target and I have some really special things that are worth paying for. It’s just been really, really great. You know, I also offer– or actually give people that feedback platform. I want them to say, “Hey, you know what? You need A, B, and C. You don’t have leggings.” I’m like, “You’re right. I don’t have leggings today, but I don’t have leggings because I wanted to find really cool, special, different leggings.” “I need belts.” I get that. What type of belt do you want? What are your price points? Feedback is huge because it’s really how we’re going to grow a business and ultimately continue to have something for everyone.So tell me about the clothing line. Are they boutique labels?
So we have some, like I said earlier, contemporary brands. We have a lot of ath-leisure casual basic lounge/leisure wear. We also have some great dresses and dress apparel. Some blazers and just great outfits you put together for work that you could dress up or down. You could wear a blazer, some great work shoes during the day, then wear some booties and a vest or a jean jacket over in the evening. I have brands like BB Dakota, Jack, and Z Supply are really just fun basic brands. I try to find a brand that many people might think, “Oh, it’s only for this age group,” but it actually speaks to a lot of different age groups. Tulip is another great brand that’s more casual, as well as Yuvita has a little bit more room; little bit more comfort involved.
Those right now are my primary brands. I may need other brands as we progress, but I wanted to open with a really strong base that I have worn in the past, and that I found to be really great and fit really well when I purchased them myself.
Why did you choose Woodland?
Honesty I hadn’t even though about it until six months prior to opening. I came to Woodland about five years ago when I met my husband. I was in Boston and I was moving back to California, and just found that the surrounding cities had these cute little intersections or restaurant areas and I always said Woodland has so much potential. There’s so much we could do. I joked about running for city council. I joked about doing all these things just to make an impact and make a difference.
And I walked into Well-Stocked a year and a half ago and I was wowed. I was like, “Who is this person. I need to meet this owner,” and so Lacey and I hit it off and we became great friends through the year. And I never said to her this is my dream or this is what I want to do but I love boutiques. When I traveled I just always sought them out and I love it. She planted a seed, and she’s like, “You should do it,” and I was like, “No.” So months go by, months go by and nothing. I checked out the space in May and said,”This is it. Done. Going to do it.” Talk about the space.
This building is about 128 years old, so original floors and original brick walls. Sean, my landlord, did an amazing job bringing it back to its raw form…to what it used to be. It was originally a nickelodeon, I think, in 1887, and it was a barbershop for the last 30 years, so he literally– from the facade to the inside to everything, just really handed over this amazing shell. If somebody were to say, “What would your boutique look like?” When I walked into this space, I’m like, “This is the space.” Exactly where we are sitting today is what I wanted it to feel like and look like.
What do you want women to know about you and the boutique?
Back to the beginning. I really want to have people walk in here and feel extremely comfortable. I think that what’s happened is that people walk in and they think it’s a really high-end boutique. I’ve heard comments that they can’t afford what’s in here, and I invite them to really check out price points. A lot of people are like, “You don’t have anything for me.” You know, they just needed a bit more generous sizing. And today it was an amazing example of that. There was a woman who said, “There’s nothing for me.” I assured her there was and she found two great tops!
A lot of the comments have been, “Thank you for being here.”, “Oh, my gosh, thank you so much,” and “This is what we needed.” And I knew that, but I wasn’t sure that people would embrace it, and they totally have. It’s been incredible. I just want to be that little unique little shop where people are like, “I need to go get that shirt.” What do you want Woodland to know?
I do have some key pieces that are a little higher price point, and there’s some more specialty items. It’s like if you want to treat yourself to that special handbag or sweater and it’s like your once a year purchase, I have that for you. I also have some higher-end jewelry for the husband who needs an anniversary gift and doesn’t want to buy costume jewelry but wants a little diamond stud or something, or a post. So, yeah, I’ll do a little bit more of that. But, again, just keep it balanced.
All photos provided by have a boutique & VisitWoodland