The Artful Shopper
Evelyn Longa, Special to the News-Press
Talking shop with Teri Moore, owner of The Art of Fashion and Moore in Fort Myers.
When did the store open?
We opened four years ago. It’s fun. I love the customer base and where we’re located. I used to be a geriatric social worker in Ohio so this is a new venture for me. It’s refreshing. We’re in the Arcade Theatre building right across from the box office for the Florida Repertory Theatre.
This is the beauty of being downtown. We can make the hours that make the most sense for our business. The theatre is a wonderful way to drive more traffic to the store. Sometimes people come back when they have more time to shop and have more personal attention.
What do you sell?
We sell clothing for women and accessories that are basically artsy, different, comfortable and fun. That kind of thing. The Fly London shoes are extremely comfortable and designed in Europe. Right now they’re on sale for 30 percent off. I sell Lee Andersen mother of the bride and event outfits. In accessories we carry a lot of jewelry. These are fun pieces that go well with the clothing that we sell. The jewelry that we have is beautifully designed and may range from $20 for a pair of earrings to $550 for a fabulous necklace. We have some beautiful scarves and parasols from India in three different styles. The parasols are $35.
What is your 17 Weeks of Summer promotion?
In the summer for local residents, we offer them a card for the 17 Weeks of Summer promotion. Every week you can have one clothing item for 40 percent off (except for the custom ordered items) and one accessory item for 20 percent. The promotion runs this year through Aug. 31. It’s really popular. We’ve had as many as 400 people sign up for it. It’s great because where we’re located the store is not visible from First Street so it keeps people coming in who wouldn’t if they don’t have that card reminding them.
What are your most popular items?
Oh My Gauze has such cute styles and it’s a big draw. Fly London shoes are well-known and Comfy USA is a line of apparel that’s very popular as well. I try to bring in new things every season so right now I have some Iguana. It’s a line of clothes of batiks that are hand painted in Bali. People always ask where I get the clothes.They are a lot of beautiful things that come in from all over the country as well as all over the world.
Who is your typical customer?
It’s usually a woman who is 50 and up, but we have people come in who are younger and certainly we’ve had people in their 90s. We’re always open when the theater is open and those theater goers tend to be people who like to look good and like unique things. I typically buy one of each size in a particular style so there’s maybe five out there in Fort Myers that look alike.
What is unique about your store?
We have a lot of unique pieces. Most of our items can’t be found in the area. They’re lines that people might recognize, but are protected in certain areas. Styles Ever After is a line manufactured in Florida. Each piece is unique because they re-purpose t-shirts and jeans and turn them into unique and fun clothing.