Written by: Kharin Gibson |Photography: Marcus Anthony
Hair/Makeup:Tyler Kent | Venue/Location:Dalisay Salon and Bridal Suite
There is something to be said for retail therapy. Experiencing that euphorically-charged adrenaline rush while being handed colorful packages in all shapes and sizes is the guilty pleasure of most women. Of course, the stars must be aligned in order to have a really top-notch shopping experience. The fun doesn’t just materialize by the mere motions of purchasing; the thrill has much to do with a shop’s selection, service, and sincerity. When you find all of that in one place, you know you’ve got yourself a winner.
Here in the Cape Fear region, you needn’t wander too far to find a shop that fits that bill. Lula Balou, located off Racine Drive, is a trendy little boutique that’s worth your browsing time—but please don’t let the word “boutique” turn you away. Many times that word conjures up images of snooty, pencil-thin shop girls peering down from their stilettos at intimidated customers, or price tags that make your eyes spin wildly.
Fear not, devoted shopper; from your first step into Lula Balou, you’ll be welcomed by an upbeat, friendly staff, and feel the relief of shopping in a pleasant, pretentious-free zone. And, when you take a gander at the price tags, you’ll sigh a breath of relief knowing that you’ve found fashionable attire that won’t break the bank.
Lula Balou is a hip and trendy shop that offers women’s clothing with styles ranging from preppy to bohemian. The eye can’t help but be stimulated by the colorful, fun, and flirty patterns, pastels, and neutral-colored options available to complete any woman’s wardrobe.
Owner, Lucy Cherry, believes that much of her style sense has been inspired and influenced by her coastal surroundings. Originally from Topsail, she has also spent time living in Hawaii, and is admittedly a “beach girl”. From her early career as a pattern maker, Lucy has always had a bent for art, creativity, and fashion design. Her shop is a celebration of all of those elements. The Wilmington store recently marked their tenth year in business, and two years ago, the success of Lula Balou has prompted Lucy to add a second location in New Bern.
Both locations appeal to a wide range of women. “There is something for everyone,” says Lucy. With new merchandise arriving in weekly shipments, Lucy is able to keep on point with emerging trends. Lucy admits she enjoys the merchandising aspect of what she does, as well as meeting local designers. A small section of the store is dedicated to local jewelry makers, and every three months Lucy will showcase paintings by local artists, available for sale on the walls of her shop.
Becoming an unintentional customer on my first visit, I must admit that Lula Balou sets itself apart with its exceptional customer service. The staff is cheerful, engaged, and most importantly, honest. If you’re looking for a second opinion from the dressing room, you can rest assured that you’ll get a truthful response.
A certain perquisite that got my attention is that Lula Balou is available for private shopping parties, an evening filled with intimate shopping along with eight of your closest gal-pals. For two hours, you and your entourage can enjoy the comfort of an after-hours shopping spree with incentives and libations provided. I can’t think of a better way to enjoy the thrill of shopping.
Find Lula Balou here: lulabalou.com, @LulaBalou, #Lulabalou
Or visit their two locations at:
250 Racine Dr. Ste 7 Wilmington 910.799.9991
236 Middle St. Ste A New Bern 252.649.1856