Couture, Culture and Class 9

New Designer Boutique Opens In West Chester

Step inside and you’ll feel like you’re in an Audrey Hepburn movie. Luxurious coats and dresses hang in front of you, vintage jewelry rests lightly on tall white shelves, one-of-a-kind handbags dangle in the corner, splashes of pink flow throughout, and fashionable artwork and quotes adorn the walls. Some of them from Ms. Hepburn herself.

Store owner and fashion consultant Felisa Insignares recently opened West Chester’s first and only high-end designer boutique, Designer Items and More. What began as an online-only designer store on eBay, is now a personal shopping experience in Olde West Chester. By appointment only, you can schedule a time to visit the boutique and enjoy a one-on-one fashion consultation from Insignares herself. Whether you’re a working woman, busy mom or somewhere in between, Insignares loves making women feel beautiful.

“My target is the woman who ‘has arrived,’ whether that be as a professional or a mom or community member,” Insignares says. “I tend to work with women 40 and older because around that age women have given so much of themselves—to their families and friends and communities. Now it’s time to invest in themselves. It’s a celebration of all their hard work, recognizing that they are worth celebrating.”

No one knows this better than Insignares herself. After working for P&G for nearly 15 years, she left to focus on her family. It was during this time “off” that she decided it may be possible to turn her hobby of selling high-end fashion labels out of her home into a full-time business.

“We had to build a customized basement,” Insignares laughs.

Insignares partially credits her online success to her time spent in P&G corporate, brand and global communications, which gave her the chance to live and travel all over the country, including West Hollywood, and internationally. During her travels, she took every opportunity to learn about designers, trends and to buy inventory on a global scale.

Designer Items and More’s online boutique serves clients from all over the U.S. and throughout the world, including: Russia, Switzerland, Sweden, Australia, Canada, Japan, China and more.

However, her online success brought with it a desire to step out from behind the computer and communicate with her clients face-to-face. Thus, her boutique moved out from the basement and into West Chester. With the grand opening in July, Insignares is now able to continue her online presence while emphasizing the in-person experience for local customers.

“I like to think of Designer Items and More as the ‘boutique shopping experience’ where the experience is a celebration of women,” Insignares says.

Simply walking into the boutique sends the message that women are important here. Inside the pink shop the clothes are purposefully and beautifully displayed, and you are greeted with a champagne toast. But what sets this shopping experience apart is not only the one-on-one attention you receive, but also the designers who are represented.

Designer Items and More carries pieces from Chanel, Akris, Valentino, Dolce & Gabanna, Gucci, Escada, Charlotte Olympia, Armani and more. Many of her pieces have been seen at red carpet events and movie premieres. Insignares says she picked up her passion for these high-end labels from her mother.

“My mother taught me how to see the beauty in things; it’s inspired me throughout life, but especially in my love of beautiful clothing,” Insignares reflects.

The items in her boutique are a mix of new, gently used and vintage fashion, and there are very rarely duplicate pieces. It’s Insignares’ deep understanding of designer influence that helps her to find more options within a particular style a client might be looking for, allowing her to search for impact and investment pieces.

“These days you not only want investment pieces that are going to last you year-after-year, but I like to help customers think about how they’ll be wearing this,” Insignares explains. “The reach of an outfit can be greater than just one event now that images are often published online.”

It’s this strategic thinking that pushes fashion-forward Insignares to be one of the best designer consultants in the country. Whether you need an updated wardrobe or the perfect outfit for an upcoming event, Insignares wants you to feel elegant in her store.

“I love the Olde West Chester area; it’s quite charming,” Insignares says. “Every woman is unique, and I want the store to reflect that.”