LUTZ – At Lutz' Princess Boutique, women can find two things that are hard to come by in department stores or mall shops: unique stylish fashions and personalized customer service.
Owner Debi Fitzgerald had a boutique in Santa Monica, Calif., before relocating to the Tampa area. She opened her Lutz boutique seven years ago to provide women with an affordable alternative to the mass-produced fashion choices of most clothing retailers.
“Our clothes are unique,” Fitzgerald says. “Department stores and malls have a tendency to carry a lot of the same styles. We carry only a few pieces of a particular style of clothing as well as accessories that can't be found in the mall. One thing that makes us different is that we carry sizes from 2 to 16, not just the small boutique sizes.”
Even when department stores or mall shops team up with famous designers, such as Ralph Lauren, Giambattista Valli or Karl Lagerfeld, the sheer number of the fashion pieces produced dilutes the designer label, she said. Most women don't want to encounter other women wearing the same outfit, but when a store carries racks of the same style, the odds of such an encounter increase dramatically.
Princess Boutique carries fashions by talented smaller-scale designers, including some styles created just for the shop.
“We carry designer pieces by Analili, Eva Varro and Julian Chang, a private designer from Miami who has been featured in Vogue,” Fitzgerald said. “Eva Varro, one of our top lines, creates custom fashions for us, where we choose the colors and styles.”
Fitzgerald says that the main advantage of shopping at Princess Boutique is the personalized service, since the majority of her staff has been with her for seven years. Customers can make an appointment with one of the shop's style consultants, who can help them in choosing a wardrobe. On-site alterations ensure a proper fit.
“People think that women love to shop, but a lot of them don't because they don't have the time or they get overwhelmed in the malls,” Fitzgerald said. “We love to have that kind of woman come here because we can help her. Once she goes into the fitting room, she doesn't have to keep coming out and looking for other clothes. We will tell her what looks good on her and what doesn't, and we can bring items from the store that we think will look good on her. Women often tell us, 'I never would have looked at that if you had not brought it for me to try on.'”
Princess Boutique carries an array of accessories as well, including silver and upscale costume jewelry, Popits sandals with interchangeable charms, belts and some custom handbags.
Located at 17671 N. Dale Mabry Hwy., in the Van Dyke Commons shopping center, Princess Boutique is open Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and after hours by appointment.
For more information, or call (813) 961-1100.