When the opportunity to buy an Israeli jewelry franchise and move to Rome fell through, Stacey Finnegan didn’t give up her dream of bringing la dolce vita to the masses. Finnegan returned to the Twin Cities from Italy with an appreciation of European boutique culture and a desire to bring such a transforming environment here. She converted a former Pizza Hut at 50th & France into Il Vostro Boutique (5045 France Ave. S., Edina, 612-920-3167). The interior pays homage to Italian architecture—faux Roman columns and statuary, pale pressed-tin ceilings, a floor-to-ceiling oil painting depicting a Venetian canal. Yet, the more contemporary elements—wood floors, a clean neutral palette, shelving from California Closets—saves the space from becoming novel or kitschy.
Finnegan’s focus is on Italian fashion and design—woven shirts and dresses by Sonia Fortuna, handbags by Via Pendio, handmade Milanese jewelry by Doppio Zero—but she also has fashions from Montreal, New York, and Los Angeles. There are yummy satin skirts by Svetlana, dresses in experimental fabrics from Anac, on-trend cotton shirt dresses cinched with big patent leather belts by B.B. Dakota, and flirty skirts and lightweight jackets by Cordelia. The styles walk the fine line between classic and trend forward, appealing to women at various ages and with a variety of lifestyles.
Finnegan depends on the fashion savvy of her well-traveled friends to know what to bring into the store. “Through conversations with those who travel, I find out what designers internationally they love, and I seek them out. It was a friend who introduced me to Sonia Fortuna,” Finnegan explains. Finnegan also makes sure that everything she buys is either carried in a limited selection or not at all in this market, and she only brings in one or two of each size. “So I can offer my customers something that makes them feel special,” Finnegan says.