Whether you have $20 or $200 to spend, Lily Rain has you covered. The brand new (5 month old) boutique located in Rice Village is filled with clothing, jewelry, beauty products, home décor, and even goodies for little kiddos. Find lines like Trina Turk, Cynthia Vincent, Paige denim, as well as vintage, and even Lily Rain’s very own private label line. A little bit from Debbie Flores, store manager.
How did you get involved in this business?
I was looking for a job that would allow me the flexibility to go to school and also work, and what better job than retail? I went walking through Highland Village and one place that I happened to stop in, when I asked if they were hiring, she was like, “Ya! Here’s an application, make sure you come back tomorrow with your two forms of ID to fill out your I-9.” I was like, “Ok, I guess I have a job?!” I remember calling my friend and saying “I think I just got a job” and he was like, “what do you mean you think?” I was like, “Ya, she just told me to show up the next day.”
I had always been really in to pop culture – MTV, Gossip Girl, but I wasn’t confident enough to see myself in that type of clothing – but working in that store, I grew into myself. And that’s where I became a lot more aware of fashion, and how it can really change a person. You know, what you wear completely changes your outlook, and your attitude – so that’s really why I’ve stuck with retail for as long as I have. The customer aspect of it – It’s amazing seeing the transformation – like literally, in an instant, as soon as they walk out of the fitting room, you’re like “oh my God that looks fabulous on you!” and it’s something they would have never picked out for themselves, and they look amazing in it. They’re happy, they leave here happy, and you know that they’re going to come back because they’ve been so happy with what we’ve been able to offer them.
Tell us about Lily Rain
We always like to say, If Lily Rain were a person, she would be someone who has traveled a lot- for business endeavors or school, and she’s learned a lot, but she’s chosen to come back to Texas as her home base, and to offer all the things that she’s seen around the world to people here. We have Jonathan Adler, we have vintage Kimonos, vintage water-painting colors; it’s a wide array of products. If your budget calls for “I only have $20 to spend on this birthday present,” we can totally accommodate that. If you’re coming in here and saying, “I need a whole new wardrobe, I’m willing to spend whatever,” we can totally accommodate that too. You know, I like to say we don’t really have a demographic, although I’m sure the branding and marketing individuals do think we do – but just being in the store here, and seeing the individuals that come in and out, it’s all over the place. They either purchase, or are really interested in the merchandise we’re carrying. Of course we’re always hoping that everyone that walks in, walks out with something, but even if they walk out with “wow, this place was amazing, and the customer service was great – I’m definitely coming back on pay day” or “I’m definitely coming back with my mom,” – That’s something that is kind of the feel that we want to have – totally welcome, take a look around, try stuff on, touch stuff. We’ll give you our opinion if you need it, we’ll back off if you don’t.
What is your boutique’s biggest challenge?
Starting out as a new store, in any city, is getting the word out. Honestly. It’s really making an impression on every customer that walks in, and making sure that we’re making an impression, because they’re really the only way, besides our email blasts, different social media platforms, and seeing people walking around with the Lily Rain bags, that people will know about us. Mostly, it’s the customer who really carries on the Lily Rain brand from here, out into the world. So really gaining that base of clientele, because we’re still so new – we’ve only been open for four months.
What trends do you see most from women in Houston?
I feel because of our weather, the less clothing the better. So the racer back tanks, or blouses – those are always a huge hit – wearing them with shorts, regardless if they’re bermuda or cut-offs. Skirts are also huge. We sell through skirts like nobody’s business, because they’re a separate, versus a dress, and I think dresses here in Houston, especially our fun dresses, you only wear for two occasions: going out, or a wedding. Oh, and we love print, we love colorful! Even though I have customers who say that they don’t, they try it on, and they’re like, “oh wow, you were right, this is awesome.”
Who is one of your fashion icons?
My fashion icon is Olivia Palermo – that’s who I want to be when I grow up. She makes it look so effortless, and that’s the kind of fashion that I love. Making it look like I just threw these pieces together, and somehow it just looks amazing.
Visit Lily Rain at 2526 Rice Blvd, Houston, TX 77005 Houston, TX — or shop online at www.lilyrain.com