Everyone needs a little retail therapy

By Megan Denneny | gargoyle@flagler.edu

Boutiques have become a staple in St. Augustine, popping up all over, selling high end fashion and other gadgets that cater to a wide variety of styles. Retail Therapy of St. Augustine is a new and trendy boutique offering fashion, jewelry, shoes, and gifts that are not only unique, but are offered at an affordable price point.

DeAnn Matza and her husband John opened their doors on Anastasia Island, in July of 2012, to bring a new outlook on fashion to the community. After living in Colorado for 12 years, they decided the small town atmosphere of St. Augustine was where they were meant to be.

“We were done with the snow, and fell in love with St. Augustine. We traded the slopes for the sands.” said Matza.

With a paper and gift background, Matza usually sells an array of things such as cell phone cases, monogram bags, cards and letters. With this store, the Matza’s expanded their brand. Clothing, jewelry and creative gifts became a new staple, and while the store attracts a younger generation, it offers items for the older demographic as well. Matza wanted the store to bring in various ages and personalities to keep up with the competition.

“Our style is contemporary, we really research what is fresh and trendy.” said Matza.

Crochet and lace have been the most popular purchases this winter season. Items such as maxi dresses and tanks are displayed as a sneak peak for the spring. Matza also sells many types of jewelry from simple and delicate to much more bold statement pieces. The starfish bangle has become a signature piece this past season.

“I would wear what we sell; I love fashion, what girl doesn’t?” said Matza.

Knick-knacks such as candles, picture frames, wine toppers and other fun items are displayed around the store, offering ideas for “girlfriend” gifts or gifts for special occasions. Matza’s goal is to have many intricate and detailed pieces without the shock of high prices, differentiating her from the competition.

Matza, knowing there are many boutiques in St. Augustine, opted for another approach. What makes Retail Therapy truly a unique venue is the fact that there is a limited supply of each item. This allows for a first come, first serve mentality. Items sell fast, especially when there is a stock of no more than six of the same item.

“It is important to have a limited amount of each item, so no one shows up wearing the same thing.” said Matza.

With all of the small boutique competition in St. Augustine, Matza strives to carry current and different brands while supporting emerging designers.

Social Media, especially Facebook, has been a successful way to advertise and bring in new customers. Word of mouth travels fast in a small town and the news of fashionable clothes and unique items for less keeps the crowds coming.

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