Accessories often don’t get the billing they deserve. Branded as the more flippant part of a wardrobe, they’re seen as decorative items meant only to supplement garments. But what is often overlooked is an accessory’s practicality—handbags are for toting, watches keep time, shoes protect our feet. It is the idea that an accessory can be both beautiful and functional that guided the merchandising of 50th & France’s newest tenant, Ladyslipper Boutique ( 4940 France Ave. S., Edina, 952-224-1900 ).
For years, Sacha Martin and Allison Mowery (the stylish duo behind neighboring contemporary women’s apparel shop Bluebird Boutique) scoured the Web, vintage stores, and out-of-state boutiques to find decorative items for jazzing up their own wardrobes. While they had toyed with the idea of opening an accessories store, the elements—timing, money, location—never came together. Enter Amanda Rose, mother of three and one of Bluebird’s most loyal customers. Rose shared Martin and Mowery’s vision, and with the serendipitous closing of Spirit Kids, Ladyslipper bloomed.
A large zebra-print carpet runner anchors the tiny space while three rose-hued velvet ottomans offer ample seating for trying on shoes. The goods—Botkier handbags, Loeffler Randall and Frye boots, Dolce Vita and Sam Edelman pumps, paraben-free apothecary by Kings & Queens, and vintage jewelry—reside in built-in shelving that lines the aisle. With the curated approach, you can shop as a true magpie, envisioning the items on yourself, not as a part of a bigger trend. “We wanted our guest to feel like they had entered a full-on girly dream closet—and to show them something special and original,” says Rose.
Originality—inventory is on a limited scale, so don’t expect to see your neighbor or girlfriend with your same finds—is trumped only by price. Plenty of items under $200 punctuate the investment pieces. “You can’t buy $600 shoes every day, but you can buy a $22 lip gloss or a $30 vintage necklace on a whim,” says Mowrey. And while Bluebird’s audience ranges from the effortless fashionista to the stay-at-home mom to the career woman on the go, Ladyslipper Boutique has cast an even wider customer net. The moms come in for flat shoes, grandmothers for jewelry, and twentysomethings for on-trend shoes, boots, and handbags.