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St. Louis Metro Area Shoppers are Head Over Heels for This Trendy Wildwood Boutique

St. Louis Metro Area Shoppers are Head Over Heels for This Trendy Wildwood Boutique

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At Heels Boutique in Wildwood, girls just want to have fun.

Run by a local mother-daughter duo – owner and president Rosemary Barry and manager, buyer and social media director Allie Still – Heels’ decidedly different fun and friendly approach to offering the latest in women’s fashion has been turning customers into friends since 2008.

Now in fresh new digs at 121 Plaza Drive, just steps down the same street from its previous location, Heels is carrying on its sociable, stylish tradition. The new location was kicked off by a September grand reopening complete with cocktails, clothing deals and Chesterfield-based Mark Jenkins Footwear’s fall ’21 boot launch.

“Heels is fresh, fun and girly – a pink velvet couch was the original inspiration piece for the new store design,” Barry says. “We provide a warm and welcoming atmosphere, and we make sure everyone feels comfortable when they come in to shop.”

Barry – who earned a business degree from Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau and has dedicated her entire career to the retail industry – launched the local franchise of Heels after falling for its allure in Chicago, where the store originally began as an idea for a women’s shoe boutique among five friends over cocktails. “My sister-in-law and four friends opened Heels in Chicago, and I went to visit,” Barry recalls. “As soon as I walked through the door, I had my ‘aha’ moment – I knew I had to open a Heels because there was nothing like it in St. Louis.”

In 2008, after she scouted out the ideal home for the local store in Wildwood, Barry’s dream of having a Heels of her own came to fruition – and sparked a career path for her daughter. “[Fashion] really became a passion for me after I took a fashion merchandising class my junior year of high school, and then my mom opened the store my senior year,” Still recalls. “From then on, I knew that’s what I wanted to do with my career.”

Almost 14 years later, Heels has expanded its offerings to apparel and accessories with a range of classy to sassy styles of on-trend women’s clothing, shoes, handbags and jewelry. Its full line of casual clothing includes Liverpool denim, and Z Supply and Jag apparel, as well as shoes by Mark Jenkins Footwear, Matisse Footwear and Bella-Vita. The store also carries Mud Pie baby clothes for newborns through up to 6-month-old infants. “We have products that appeal to a broad age range of people, so 14-year-olds can find something and grandmothers can find something, too,” Barry notes. “Customers love the Liverpool jeans, everyone loves Mark Jenkins’ shoes, and people come in for candles and baby gifts.”

Heels also makes a point to support fellow female-helmed companies. “We feature a lot of St. Louis women-owned businesses, [including] local pottery by Lisa Benson and candles from Tru Candle Studio,” Barry says.

Through the years, Barry credits Heels’ success to going above and beyond for customers, many of whom have become friends who keep coming back for the newest styles. “Some women will come in and get a totally new outfit from head to toe, so they step out of the store ready for their event,” she says.

Always on the heels of the latest trends – pun intended – Barry and Still invite customers to shop this fall’s new finds now, from lug-soled boots to leather pants, skirts and shorts, as well as the season’s hottest style: shackets. “People are starting to dress up again and get back out in the world, so we have some fun things to wear out,” Barry notes, adding that Heels also hopes to build a stronger online store presence by the holidays at shopheelsboutiquestl.com.

As Barry eyes retirement in the next five years, Heels’ future steps will be in her daughter’s stylish shoes. Still holds a fashion merchandising degree from Missouri State University in Springfield and has worked in the shoe industry at Caleres and Diba Imports. Barry loves that they’re keeping fashion in the family, noting: “I’m excited to pass the baton to her.”

Heels Boutique, 121 Plaza Drive, Wildwood, 636-273-4000, heelsboutiquestl.com

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Brittany Nay, a writer of 10 years, is an Indiana native who adores Australia, indie rock music, and reading and writing both fiction and non-fiction.

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