Many of you have been curious about the lovely ladies photographed in our Spring Collection campaign...are they friends? family? Elva lovers? The truth is, they are a bit of all three in a sense...they have long supported Elva Fields and our endeavors and saw the fun and uniqueness in our creations long before many others did. As you know, we have two fabulously fashionable women's clothing boutiques in the Bluegrass that feature Elva Fields--one is Clodhoppers
in Louisville (stay tuned for more on that front in April!) and the other is AJ's
in Lexington. Both have been incredibly dear to Elva since the beginning (pre-website!) and they have been our friends, advocates, and advisors all the way!
Since they've been wearing the jewels for the past seven or eight years now, we asked some of the stylish gals from each spot to be part of our spring photo shoot last fall, and they happily agreed. So...here we are to share their stories...first up, AJ's!
[Kristin Baehler and Lauren Bell, co-owners of AJ's in Lexington]
*A quick note: Kristin may look familiar from our spring shoot...but Lauren was out of town with family and was greatly missed! Good friend, fellow AJ's gal, and Elva fan Joy Robyn Fenwick stepped in as Kristin's counterpart for the occasion.
We recently took a little trip over to Lexington to visit their beautiful boutique on High Street and had such fun poking around their inviting and colorful space. A tried-and-true solo shopper (when we have equal parts time and budget) it was so helpful to have knowledgeable and helpful feedback from such savvy owners in Kristin and Lauren. They've culled a collection of fashionable finds that are sure to be key pieces of any woman's wardrobe, and their expertise allows them to offer suggestions on accessories (Elva!), fit, color, and coordination. And the fact that they greet each customer with a smile AND pink cookies makes the whole experience pretty fantastic, we must say.
Sitting in their adorable fitting room area (see below) we had a chance to ask Kristin and Lauren a few questions...enjoy!
Elva Fields: Lauren, when did you become a boutique owner and Kristin, remind me when you jumped in as co-owner?
AJ's: Originally I took over in the spring of 2009 from the previous owner. It was my favorite boutique in Lexington--I loved the brands and overall charm of the store. Kristin and I knew each other through her sister Kari, and I knew she had so much experience in retail...so when I asked her to help me run the store, it was the perfect asset AJ's was missing!
EF: What is your favorite thing about owning your own business?
AJ's: It's hard to say! We love going to work--LOVE our job! [Owning your own business gives us] such a sense of achievement, and we love dressing all of our fabulous clients.
EF: Since both of you are mothers, do you have a helpful hint for working mamas?
AJ's: Finding a good balance. To give 100% to the shop when at the shop and 100% to the kiddos when we are home with them is our continuous goal. We also hope to be a good role model to our daughters one day!
EF: How would each of you describe your style in five words or less?
AJ's: Kristin: simple, classic, hint of flair
Lauren: colorful, flirty, fun!
EF: What are some of your favorite labels featured at AJ's?
AJ's: Tibi, Kate Spade, Nanette Lepore, Elizabeth McKay, Bell and of course our FAVORITE jewels by Elva Fields!
EF: With the increased popularity of online shopping, what do you feel AJ's is able to offer a customer that an online store may not?
AJ's: Customer service--a one-on-one relationship with each of our clients. We keep our customers in mind at markets, so we have the ability to find those "perfect" pieces for them each season...and, AJ's is a place for friends to gather in a fun-loving environment. [Remember those cookies???]
EF: It's springtime in Kentucky, which means horse races and all the fun that comes with equestrian events...do you have any tips for dressing for the track?
AJ's: We love dressing for horse racing--it's such a tradition in Kentucky! We feel keeping it simple and classic is always your best "bet!" We love all the pastel colors for Spring and bold prints, plus an amazing statement piece from Elva is the perfect compliment.