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Meet Kathryn Kulesh of Charmed Avenue Boutique in Hilton Village

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kathryn Kulesh, owner of Charmed Avenue Boutique.

Kathryn, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I started my journey as a buyer at the Village Health Clubs almost twenty years ago. After coming off the tennis courts one day, the general manager came over and asked me if I wanted to do the buying for the shop. My answer – ABSOLUTELY!

When I took over the buying, the shop mainly carried sports-oriented brands like Wilson and Nike. I quickly saw an opportunity, with the demographic of women who frequented the club, to bring in more fashion-forward lines. My experiment was successful and soon the pro shop turned into a boutique.

While running the shops, I always knew I wanted my own boutique. Soon that vision became a reality. I decided to branch out and open additional boutiques inside other businesses like home stores, yoga studios, salons and spas. At one point, I had nine different Charmed Avenue locations. I was constantly running around town making sure each space had appropriate merchandise, fixing the displays, and servicing customers.

I began to develop a loyal clientele who were frequenting these locations just to shop at Charmed Avenue. It was impossible to give my customers the hands-on experience they deserved as I couldn’t be everywhere at once. With that in mind, the hunt for the first stand alone Charmed Avenue location began. That was the catalyst for what Charmed Avenue is today – a trendy boutique for women to pick up an accessory, gift or a head to toe look while receiving a fun and personalized experience.

The business has thrived as a brick and mortar location. This past year we moved our store into our dream location in Hilton Village. I have an amazing styling team who truly loves the boutique and all our clients as much as me. It’s a little Charmed Avenue family!

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
One of the hardest parts of owning a boutique is selecting the right product mix. The fashion industry is a very challenging one. You have to pay attention to trends and forecast what your customers will want. Often I have to place orders up to six months in advance of receiving the merchandise. Therefore, you need to have a pulse on what’s up and coming. It can be challenging to know what trends our clientele will pursue.

The Arizona weather provides another big challenge. When fall fashion starts to trickle in around July and August, it is usually about 110 degrees in the desert. Trying to transition to sweaters, boots, tweeds, etc. is an enormous obstacle with our long, harsh summers.

Please tell us about your business.
We truly pride ourselves in carrying a great mix of merchandise at all price points. We have a constant flow of inventory arriving daily that makes it exciting for our clients to pop in often and see the newest arrivals. Dressing our clients head to toe in outfits that fit their lifestyle, personal taste, and are flattering for their figure is what I wake up for every single day.

The thing I’m most proud of is our entire team’s ability to connect and maintain relationships with our clients. We work hard to make sure we always have the right product mix in store for our wide variety of clients. There are a lot of different women who shop at Charmed Avenue. We always say that we need to make sure a mom, daughter, and grandmother can all find something they LOVE each time they set foot through the door.

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
When I was young, my great grandfather and grandfather had a department store in the midwest. I can remember going into the store and memorizing the different products and all their pricing. Fashion and merchandising are literally in my DNA!

Of course, this meant I was one of those little girls that had to have the right outfit for school… Sorry, Mom! If you have a child like that you know that you must immediately initiate a “layout your clothes the night before” policy.

I’ve always had a love of fashion, and that has only grown stronger as I continue my journey with Charmed Avenue.

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