Our popular Partners in Design series continued in July with some inspirational and fun fashion ideas! Our monthly design partner for July was Summer Shriner of Grace Boutique of Oldtown. Summer came to our Lansing, MI showroom on July 18, 2023, to tell us all about her inspiring story as a local entrepreneur who fell in love with the Lansing area while in college and went on to start her successful boutique.
The concept for Grace Boutique can be traced back to Summer’s deep appreciation for classic clothing styles and beautiful design aesthetics, combined with her strong connection to the charming Old Town Lansing area. Her journey to becoming a boutique owner began in 1996 when she arrived in Lansing to pursue her education at MSU. She fell in love with the locality and chose to remain in the area to continue her academic journey by enrolling in law school.
During this time, Summer heard women discuss the limited availability of distinctive and stylish cocktail dresses and handbags in the local market. This resonated with her own experiences, and the idea of opening her own boutique to cater to these fashion needs was born.
In February 2007 she opened Grace Boutique of Old Town, offering a delightful array of clothing, handbags, shoes, and accessories chosen carefully to accentuate the inner glamor of every individual. Summer’s infectious passion for classic fashion, glamor, and design permeates the boutique and the community it serves.
At our July event, Summer shared with us her top fashion insights.
- Her “must haves” for a complete wardrobe,
- How to select clothing that works with your body type,
- How she finds designers that fit her boutique,
- How she works with her sales reps to understand sizes and fit so she can better assist her clients,
- And much more!
Summer is an attorney by education, but successfully transitioned into the world of fashion by following her passion for classic and one-of-a-kind styles. She buys from designers around the world and fills her boutique with beautiful and unique items. She strongly believes in giving her clients personal attention, and firmly feels that in-store shopping is the best option as it gives customers the chance to try things on and understand the quality of items they select. She told us that online shopping has an 80% return rate due to incorrect sizes, poor quality, and other reasons. Summer takes the in-person shopping experience one step further by offering private parties for customers who need attention and have several people shopping at one time. This is ideal for people going to a single event such as a wedding, where they want to shop together or coordinate outfits.
The designers Summer works with are now planning their 2025 fashion lines. Fashion designers use the Pantone color palette to inspire each season’s line. Based on this, Summer tells us that green, red, and lemon yellow are top color choices for this fall. She takes all of this into consideration when she selects pieces for her store, and she also keeps her specific customers in mind when selecting options to stock her boutique. What more could you ask for in a local business offering an amazing, personalized service and beautiful products?
Here is a sneak peek at next month’s Partners in Design event:
In August, we will welcome back Danielle Mayes, the founder and owner of Amayesing Graze. Danielle was a design partner last year and we can’t wait to get more inspiration and delicious ideas from her passion for fine food, hosting events, and over-the-top dinner parties. Her upscale catering company specializes in creating visually stimulating and delicious charcuterie and cheese grazing boards. This mid-Michigan based company uses fresh and locally sourced ingredients to create elegant displays that will transform an event, giving it the “wow” factor you want to amaze your guests!