Bows and hairpins from Jennifer Behr. Jewelry and headbands from Lele Sadhoughi. Sweaters and dresses from Ulla Johnson.
These are not big box fashion designers, but up and coming creators from all over the world.
They are just three of the more than 90 brands carried by LolaDr’, located next to the entrance to Harbourside Place in Jupiter.
The boutique, which opened Oct. 11, is warm and inviting with white couches and walls, giving off the appearance of an extended luxury closet.
“We want people to feel like they’re hanging out at their girlfriend’s house,” said managing partner Lorry Rahman.
Lola Dre’ is a combination of the names of its three partners: Rahman, Jupiter native Lauren Murray-Ferrari and Andr’ Arceneaux, who founded the store on friendship and a mutual love of fashion.
Murray-Ferrari’s father is good friends with Rahman’s husband, Joe, and Arceneaux’s husband, Jeff, and the women all in turn became fast friends with each other, taking vacations on the Rahmans’ boat from Jupiter.
During each trip, talk would turn to what the women were wearing. They would commiserate about online shopping, lamenting that they would have to buy two different sizes of clothing, of which neither may even fit.
“You can’t see, touch or feel, or judge the size,” Rahman said. “The fun in shopping was lost.”
They would fantasize about “making shopping fun again” by opening their own store, a place with an inviting ambiance, quality customer service and the variety of online in a brick-and-mortar shop. They didn’t take it seriously until about a year later when Rahman texted the other two asking when this was going to happen.
“I was prepping to send my youngest son off to college, and I wasn’t sure what I was going to do,” Rahman said.
Opening the store was a breeze for the women, who had a plethora of development experience:
Rahman was previously a product planner for Unilever Foods. Murray-Ferrari worked at Ralph Lauren’s corporate headquarters in New York for 10 years. And Arceneaux has more than 20 years of retail experience, including as a store manager for Michael Kors.
Joe Rahman became an investor, and they recently brought on Maria Brogna as a creative director.
“We put in so much thought in the beginning that everything just fell into place,” Murray-Ferrari said.
The women buy the product for the store every three months, taking trips to New York, Los Angeles, and Miami to pick items in person. However, new pieces come in daily.
“We try to have something for everyone,” Murray-Ferrari said. “We want anybody to be able to walk in here.”
For Murray-Ferrari and Arceneaux, seeing the product from buying to selling has been rewarding.
“(At Ralph Lauren) we spent all this time making the product, and you don’t hear about how well it sold,” Murray-Ferrari said. “Now, we pick something we love in the hopes that the customer will love it, too, and they’re sharing in our excitement.”
Unlike most stores where you can only order what is currently in stock, LolaDr’ has an online catalog with items that are coming into the store that customers can swipe through at the register.
The business has been booming for the boutique since its opening, Rahman said. Black Friday sales went smoothly as well, and now until Dec. 25, customers will receive a $100 gift card for every $1,000 spent.
Most importantly for the LolaDr’ women, shopper feedback has been positive.
“People come in having all types of bad days and situations, and their mood changes because they had an enjoyable experience,” Murray-Ferrari said. “For us, it’s not about making a sale.”
Starting in January, the women plan to hold a monthly “Girls’ Night Out” at the store, which will have 15 slots open for a shopping event after hours, as well as private party shopping for those who want a more intimate experience. LolaDre’ will also be the official fashion vendor for the March 14 Wine, Women & Shoe fundraiser benefiting Big Dog Ranch Rescue.
At the end of the day, the three women enjoy the opportunity to strengthen their friendship by working together.
“We work hard, but we get to hang out,” Arceneaux said. “There’s a lot of laughter and glitter.”