Aprie hunts trends to keep fashion selling on Broadway

aprie__DSC0252aprie__DSC0227Rayna Stackhouse contributed this report as part of the UW News Lab. She is joining CHS as our summer intern. Welcome Rayna!

Las Vegas’s hustle and heat happen to be the setting for the largest global fashion exchange called MAGIC. One weekend in August brings together more than 50,000 buyers, sellers, and designers, with $200 million worth of orders each day.

Among these buyers are Lizette Gutierre-Parker and Katrina Baker who work for the fashion boutique Aprie, on Broadway at Thomas.

Both agree that these buying trips are their favorite weekends on the job. But sometimes, things don’t always go smoothly.

“We do have very similar taste, we know what will sell here and we have a good grasp on our customers,” says Baker, “but we have been compared to an old married couple because I will like something she doesn’t… We have to stop and think, can we sell this?”

aprie_DSC0248Aprie has had a storefront on Broadway for 10 years and still finds itself changing to the ever changing tides of fashion.

“People still come in and are like, ‘Oh my gosh I never knew this was here,’ and so I think it speaks a lot to how transitional the store has been. We are always reinventing ourselves, but always with the same mentality of quality and good service,” says Baker.

Aprie’s target shopper is the young professional woman of any size. Gutierre-Parker says their clothes can be perfect as transitional pieces that work well for the office and for drinks.

Scouting out trends and buying clothes take Gutierre-Parker and Baker all over the country, both physically and digitally. Many of the brands they end up choosing are a mix of local and international. Brands from the U.K. and Canada have done very well in the store and their new Twisted Tomboy lotion, made by a young entrepreneur in Wenatchee, recently hit shelves.

“Some vendors will come to the store, like we just started carrying this new jewelry line because this guy came and showed us the samples from Portland,” says Gutierre-Parker. “We try to find local-ish vendors to support. We try to find stuff, if we can, that is made in the USA.”

Operating a clothing store on Broadway attracts an eclectic mix of shoppers, from families on the Hill to tourists venturing from downtown. Not only is forging a community around the store important to Aprie, but so is its role in the Seattle fashion world. The stereotypical Seattleites who wear flannel will find pops of color worthy of anyone’s closet.

“I feel like the ’90s never died here,” says Gutierre-Parker. “We do well with black in general and plaid, but like girly plaid, we make it cute.”

“We have the basic staples but we try to get people to branch out a little more,” she said.

Aprie is located at 310 Broadway E. You can learn more at aprie.com.

4 thoughts on “Aprie hunts trends to keep fashion selling on Broadway

  1. i’m not sure HOW this shop stays in business. On 4 separate occasions, over a two year period, i went into this shop, stayed for over 10 minutes to shop, and did not have ONE person address me, say hi, or ask if i needed help. In particular, i was in there for over 20 minutes, with $500 to spend, looking for an outfit for a special event; again, not a single person even made eye contact with me.

    I have 15+ years in customer service, specifically retail, and this store was one of THE worst examples of how NOT to treat your customers.

    Even with this article, i refuse to shop there AND tell all 500+ of my facebook, twitter and instagram friends the same.

    Good luck!

    • You may be lucky. I went in once when they first opened and was told point blank, in a nasty tone, that they don’t carry things in “your size”, which happened to be a 14/16, but she couldn’t have even known that since I was wearing a rather shapeless summer dress. She also made it clear that I was not welcome in the store. Given that, I have never been back. I also have never seen anyone shopping in there either, so no clue how they stay open.

  2. Pingback: In legal battle over stripped ‘Bettie Page’ branding, fashion chain shutters Broadway boutique — UPDATE: ‘It was the traffic’ | CHS Capitol Hill Seattle

  3. Pingback: Red Light Vintage, Aprie leaving Broadway | CHS Capitol Hill Seattle

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