Fourth Avenue is in the heart of sunny Tucson and a favorite spot of both locals and college students of all ages. Creations Boutique is located on the corner of Fourth Avenue and Sixth Street and continually draws in customers with its handmade creative window displays and trendy clothing.
Lisa Warman, district manager of Creations, answered some questions about the Fourth Avenue location and expanded on what makes Creations so unique compared to other boutiques in Tucson.
What was the inspiration behind opening Creations Boutique in Tucson?
We have actually been open since 1971. The store has gone through many changes and we used to be an wholesale outlet store called Star of India Fashions and this particular location is where the older goods would go. Six years ago I was hired by the owners to transition the store into a boutique, so that has been my job. My inspiration comes from street culture, fashion and design, all three I’m very passionate about. I also worked as the visual merchandiser for Urban Outfitters for seven years so I learned a lot about woodworking and being fashion forward. High fashion, street fashion, everything.
Who is your current buyer and does that align with the customer that you envisioned having when you opened?
The Fourth Ave location is definitely the college student. We also like to cater to the hip moms that are in between thirty and forty years old. Overall, college students still reign.
What makes Creations different from other boutiques in the local market?
As far as our apparel, we are owned by the wholesaler, and they produce two brands: “Angie” and “Nostalgia.” Our designers work in Tempe so everything is designed in Tempe, Ariz. We also have a design manager and I do a lot of the design work and all of our fixtures are hand-built.
What do you think about the fashion in Tucson and how is Creations impacting the local fashion scene?
I have been into fashion since I was a little kid and I have seen Tucson go through many transitions. There is definitely a Tucson style that is a little similar to Portland, but it’s more warm weather; it’s pretty eclectic, I see a lot of people mixing vintage and modern and that’s kind of always been a thing. I think Tucson is on trend and I think a lot of that has to do with the Internet now, Instagram and all that. I think one or two years ago it was always behind Los Angeles or New York. We’re getting there; it’s pretty exciting.
What are the major differences between the Tucson location and the Tempe location?
Well the look is completely different, the stores have two different looks, but we do carry the same brands and we have the same apparel. We are basically right across the street from Arizona State University on Mill Ave so we have a very strong college demographic there as well.
What new trends do you see happening for spring and summer of 2016?
Well I see the 70’s still staying around; I’ve been seeing a lot of vintage inspired pieces and a lot of truly vintage pieces. Just some specifics: gladiators are really in right now, flares, bell-bottoms; I’ve seen a lot of embroidery and a lot off-the-shoulder-anything really…
How often does Creations do buying?
We order when we need to. So Free People is actually one of our best brands and we just got a shipment of bralettes. Last week we sold twelve in this store only, so we’ll probably have to re-order next week or the week after. It really just depends on the needs of the business.
How does Creations Boutique determine what to buy?
I do a lot of trend forecasting so I basically try to stay ahead of the trends and figure out what is going to be the next best thing. I’ll order it, we’ll test it and see what works. For example, “Quay Australia” is really popular brand of sunglasses that has resonated well with our audience.
Where do you see the retail/fashion industry (specifically in Tucson) headed in the future?
I think a really big thing right now is the boutique, coffee shop, art gallery combo-I see that little trio everywhere. There are so many entrepreneurs in Tucson and people who are willing to take risks in doing small businesses. I definitely see more retail in the future. As far as fashion, I think we’re just catching up-but I think Tucson does have something no other city has, it has its own style.
Creations does such a great job of making their customers feel welcome and have a great experience in their store, which keeps them always coming back for more. Walking into the boutique is like walking into your dream closet, especially if your style is bohemian-chic. Buying items from Creations makes the customers feel a sense of exclusivity because the items are so unique and unlike anything else around. Not to mention, the ambiance in the store is too dreamy for words, very relaxing and somewhat urban. Bottom line- if you’re ever in town, Creations should be your first stop, and be prepared to come home with the cutest, most trendy pieces!
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