Down the street from the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) and just a few blocks from the designer boutiques in the Design District is a tiny white building on the corner of 43 Street and NE Second Avenue. Within that building, a collection of trinkets and fashion thrives.
Earthy Chic Boutique opened its doors officially last week, a solid month after the soft opening. Best friends and co-owners Eileen Perez-Carrion and Priscilla Reyes have been working toward this goal for more than five years. After spending years in the jewelry and marketing businesses, respectively, the two felt they needed to do their own thing.
“Priscilla said one day, ‘Let’s do it. Let’s just start our own business,’ and so we did,” Perez-Carrion says with a smile. The ladies have been best friends since the seventh grade; completed middle school, high school, and college together; and even at 31 years young are as comfortable together as sisters.
“We started by doing markets like at Mary Brickell Village, participating in Art Walk, and at art fairs and things like that. But our goal was always to have our own brick-and-mortar store as well as online,” Perez-Carrion says.
In 2010, EarthyChic.com launched, and five years later, the boutique stands as a testament to the love and support from their friends and families. “We had lost another spot and were pretty bummed because it fell through, but then all of a sudden, we found this place and we felt so lucky,” Reyes says. Between the two families and their combined friends, the store was up and running in less than two months.
The co-owners explain that the items they carry are a combination of their personalities — just like the name of the store. “I think it’s kind of a personification of both our unique styles: Priscilla is the more fashionable one,” says Perez-Carrion, motioning to Reyes, dressed in an elegant white jumper paired with show-stopping red lips. “And I’m more of the earthy.”
As for the name, “We both liked it, and the URL was available!” Reyes jokes.
Because the two came from working art fairs, they thought it was important to share their success with other small-business owners. “We wanted to carry some of the local designers who worked with us while we were doing the art fairs and other events — it’s just that whole small-business mentality of keeping it all within the community,” Perez-Carrion says as she motions a circle with her hands.
Reyes explains how she also found some fabulous Australian designers to include in the boutique. “It was just through trolling on Instagram, I would find these fabulous outfits, and then anything I liked, I begged for Eileen’s approval.”
Perez-Carrion adds that all the items in the store must be agreed upon by the pair. “We wanted to have things that are different and that you’re not going to see at every other boutique; we want to keep our selection unique.”
The two promise that among the accessories and clothes in the boutique, there will be sizes for fuller, curvier women.
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The pieces are definitely affordable. There are cute, dressy tops starting around $32 and dresses galore for all occasions, with the dressier options still costing less than $200. All the jewelry has a sterling silver base, and you can find some trendy pieces for a little over $50.
“We wanted to build something that was classy and that you can compare to the shops down the street,” Reyes says, “but it’s fashion that comes at an affordable price point, where someone isn’t going to spend $1,500 on a gown if they have a wedding or an event to go to.”
Earthy Chic Boutique, located at 4300 NE Second Ave., is open Sunday and Monday from noon to 6 p.m. and Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Visit earthychic.com.