02 Dec Grandeur Magazine December 2018 Shopping Column
WELL-ESTABLISHED WILDFLOWER BOUTIQUE KEEPS BLOOMING
What started as a “happy hour” idea in Key West grew into one of Naples’ favorite women’s boutique.
By definition, a wildflower is an uncommon posy that grows freely, resiliently and beautifully. Wildflowers flourish anywhere they choose, attracting a timeless hold of admiration.
Since its first brainstorming conception in Key West, the Wildflower boutique in Naples was always planned to mimic the wildflowers’ artistic expression and natural elegance. Connie Sims and her mom loved the idea of providing Southwest Florida with a unique women’s boutique similar to the trendy shops found in Key West’s famous shopping and tourist district.
“It was actually my dad’s idea,” Connie says. “Thirty-five years ago, my husband and I were vacationing in the Keys with my parents, and we collectively loved the unusual, artistic feel of the shops. The uniqueness stood out like nothing I had seen in Southwest Florida.”
Although this stemmed from “happy hour socializing,” the concept began to grow in Connie’s heart, and her days as a Lee County art teacher came to an end as she pursued a new career path of creativity and style.
Wildflower started in downtown Fort Myers in 1984, relocated four times and has planted roots at The Village Shops on Venetian Bay in Naples for 28 years. Although the beautiful, sparkling water at the shops is an added value when visiting the casually chic boutique, the exclusive lines, quality fabrics and unmatchable customer service is what keeps the clientele faithful.
Connie refers to her customers as friends and recalls one client correcting her during an introduction to announce her as a friend, not a customer.
Myra Friedman, also a friend and a customer of Wildflower for 20 years, says the same about her relationship with the Wildflower family.
“I now feel like I am related to the staff. It is so much fun to go to Wildflower,” she says. “Although I prefer traditional, timeless pieces, I do like to replenish often and stay stylish. I seek out the unusual, and I don’t like ordinary.”
Myra also modeled seasonal collections for Wildflower years ago.
What makes Wildflower’s collections and style truly unique is its exclusive, European lines and special occasion attire. Some of the brands carried in the shop include: Dismero, Marc Cain, Bogner, Laurél, Marc Aurel, Edward Achour Paris, Marisa Baratelli, Frascara and Luisa Cerano.
The collections are often accented with accessories by various professional jewelers and Suzi Roher designer belts. Suzi travels to Italy to discuss the design of the leather that is created by artisans in Italy. All stones and metals are then shipped to Toronto where her team creates and manufactures the belts.