[Image: Siwy Denim via blueheaven.com]
Did you spend years scouring the Delia’s and Victoria’s Secret catalogs looking for the right combinations of pieces that would make up your perfect wardrobe? It was always a little frustrating that there wasn’t one massive store full of every brand and hard-to-find dress you were searching for, wasn’t it? Well, Blue Heaven Boutique owner Laura Larson had just that conundrum, and decided to take matters into her own hands by creating her own online shopping mecca.
Blue Heaven Boutique was founded by Larson in 2004, after spending endless shopping hours scouring the web for specific indie brands, and cultivating a love for retail after working for J.Crew. “I was always really into online shopping, but could never find a place that had everything I wanted, so I created my own dream store,” Larson says.
Originally housed out of Wisconsin, Blue Heaven Boutique was Larson’s pet project, but quickly grew once people all over the world discovered the site’s amazing selection. Larson explains, “I like online stores like Shopbop, but what sets us apart is that we’re not a big department store; we’re small, and we want to keep our inventory to smaller businesses, and hot up-and-coming designers.” She continues, “We also focus on customer service; we know some of our customers by name.”
The typical Blue Heaven customer is not unlike the owner herself– the working woman who wants to look a little different, but still unforgettably stylish. “It’s kind of hard to find a store that’s geared towards the age group of the fashionable 30 to 40-year-old woman,” Larson says. “We don’t all want to dress like Paris Hilton, so Blue Heaven is a little more upscale and not quite so trendy and commercial as you would find most places.”
Some exciting labels currently available on the site include Siwy denim, Genetic denim, and Blue Life. In the next few months, customers can expect an increase in swimwear and Miami-based designers.
A few weeks ago, Blue Heaven Boutique’s home base moved from chilly Wisconsin to Naples, Florida– definitely one of the advantages of being e-commerce. “We figured, we could take it anywhere, why not somewhere warm?” Larson said.
Thanks to the move, Blue Heaven fans can expect a refreshing change in sartorial scenery, as Larson is cultivating a taste for sunnier designers. “I’m getting really into the beach resort thing, because all women want to go on vacation— moving to Florida will definitely influence my buying decisions,” Larson explained.
So what should you be buying this season? “For spring, buy lots of gray denim, lots of studs on sandals, belts, florals, and prairie dresses– and zippers are popping up a lot in creative ways,” Larson says.
“You just have to take the first big step and believe in yourself– I started off with $5,000 on a credit card,” Larson says. “Just have a determination and a drive, and you can do any business you dream of. It’s fun to see a dream that you have actually come through.”
Blue Heaven Boutique is also on Twitter and Facebook.