"Either you ‘get’ fashion or you don’t," says Kelly Augustyniak, owner of the 18-month-old boutique Kelietza. Kelly’s chic Pineapple Avenue atelier is proof-positive that she gets it. In fact, Kelietza is a microcosm of global fashion trends: a smattering of the best from mainstream fashion meccas (France, Italy, Spain) as well as the unexpected (Iceland, New Zealand).
"I was a child of the ’80s," says the Chicago native. "It was a time of skirts connected to pants, bowler hats, steel-toe shoes, tight-rolled jeans—and I loved every minute of it!" As a teen, Kelly was her friends’ go-to fashion advisor. "I shopped with them, did their hair and make-up—and still do," she confides.
Now she’s dressing Kelietza customers, but with international finds that blend her two loves: travel and fashion. "The best compliment I’ve had was from a Sarasota client who says strangers stopped her on the streets of France to ask where she got her clothes," Kelly confides. Kelietza, 602 S. Pineapple Ave., Sarasota (941) 312-5403
What this town needs is color to brighten a bleak economy. Trendy shades are evident in everything from candy-colored jeans ($179) to Italian-made butter-soft lambskin jackets (from $750).
Can’t live without unique fashions. Customers can’t get enough of her one-of-a-kind coats and tops ($500 to $1,500) hand-crocheted from carefully hand-dyed pieces of vintage 1800s lace tablecloths.
Fashion philosophy Think out of the box, but not outside your comfort zone. "I love to mix and match textures: modern with vintage; our delicate lace tops with distressed skinny fit jeans ($220)."