If you work in fashion, the idea of opening your own store is probably somewhere in the back of your mind, but when is the right time to take that leap? For Liza Fragomele, owner of brand new Wilmington womenswear boutique TRUDY, it was when the right space became available.
Below, Liza shares her inspiration for the decor of the store, her favorite brands, and dealing with the online shopping competition.
What prompted you to start a career in fashion? Is that what you studied in college?
Fashion has been a love of mine since I was a little girl. I really don’t think I ever contemplated another career path. I moved to NYC as I got the opportunity and started working!
What made you decide to open your own boutique, TRUDY? Was there a defining moment when you realized you were ready?
I had been talking about opening my own store for forever. After moving back from New York I realized there was still a retail void in town and I started to get serious about the project. When we got word that this space was going to become available, I decided it was time to take the leap!
TRUDY is gorgeous — the way you decorated the space, it’s so chic, yet incredibly comfortable. Can you describe your inspiration/vision?
I knew I wanted a clean, neutral space so that the merchandise could do the talking. And I wanted an openness, to feel like the store was part of the block and vice versa. When it came to the actual furniture, the brass racks came first and the rest sort of just came together naturally. The art is actually my favorite feature design wise. Each piece tells a different story, but they work together so perfectly.
With so many consumers buying online, what made you want to open a physical store?
I myself have always been a big online shopper, but there’s something about walking into a store and walking out with something – it’s that instant satisfaction that I think people will always crave. Also I think brick and mortar shopping is more personal. You can really tell a story and create a mood that inspires customers – it’s hard to do that online.
Who is the TRUDY customer?
The TRUDY customer appreciates fashion, understands quality and enjoys an intimate and personalized shopping experience. Our selection is fun, modern and colorful. I really take my time with the buy and to make sure it stays super curated and unique.
What do you look for when selecting brands/pieces for the store?
I think about the realities of the women who live in this area and what makes sense for their lifestyles. I also try to choose things that are maybe a little outside the box style wise. I hope to introduce our clients to new things and to encourage taking fashion risks.
What are your favorite looks or trends for summer?
Mini handbags, chunky gold jewelry, pastels, mixing prints.
How would you describe your personal style?
I’ve always been a bit of a tomboy, but I think I’m dressing more feminine as I get older. I’m typically pretty casual though. I wear a lot denim, I love mixing colors and prints, and I think sneakers work with everything.
Who would you say is really killing it in fashion right now?
I’m super into a brand from Copenhagen, Ganni. Its super cool but feminine, and I feel really lucky to be carrying it. In the luxury fashion world, I’m loving Italian designer, Attico. I have the biggest girl crush on the two designers – their style is so good. Japanese designer, Sacai, will always be my favorite. I cherish the pieces that I have from each of her collections.
A little more about Liza…
TV show you love to binge-watch: Big Little Lies, Keeping Up With The Kardashians – I’m not ashamed 🙂
Cocktail of choice: Margarita in the summer, old fashioned in the winter
Favorite book or podcast: I just bought “The Power of Now”- I’m trying to work on being more present
Thing you love to do on your day off: relax outside
Fashion item you can’t live without: my Sasha Samuel locket necklace and Celine white cat eye sunglasses
Style Icons: Julia Sarr Jamois, Christine Centenera, Taylor Tomasi Hill