That Extra Something

La Boutique: a glamorous shopping experience

By: Sarah Tindall
Photos By: Edgar de la Garza

There seems to be an assumption that all boutiques are the same. Typically, boutiques are described as having one thing in common: The styles and the sizes they carry are fit and designed for teenagers and women in their 20s. Never fear, however: Mari Mendoza has come to the rescue for the ladies of Corpus Christi with a boutique on the city’s south side that caters to a woman’s figure.

La Boutique has been open for three years, and the clientele have fallen in love with the fresh styles and glamorous options made to flatter every woman, no matter her age or dress size.

“I love fashion, as you can see,” says Mendoza, as she waves her hands around the store with rack after rack of colorful prints. She opened La Boutique after years of trunk shows, when her husband found the space at 5440 Everhart Road and told her about it. It was perfect for her storefront. “I didn’t want to do the store, but when my husband and his nephews knocked down all the walls inside and put in the hardwood floors, I was able to see the finished product and my vision come to light,” she says. “I knew it would be a beautiful space for my shop.”

The couple worked night and day for six months to finish the renovations, and the result was worth the wait. With lots of floor space and plenty of room to showcase the clothes, La Boutique has become a favorite space for many local gals ready who want a glamorous shopping experience.

“This is a women’s boutique,” Mendoza says. “It’s for real women – for grandmas like me who want to feel fabulous with style and class, but also for women wanting fun things to wear to work or for a night on the town. We have all sizes in our clothes, as well, from small to 3X – something for everyone. Our clothes are different; it’s something you can wear during the day for work, but then add some heels and jewelry, and it is ready for a night of fun. Most importantly, however, we look for pieces that are classy and stylish.”

Her most popular clothing line – and also her personal favorite – is Julian Chang, a designer from Miami. “I’m the only one in Corpus Christi who carries this brand, and every year, I get to go to the Las Vegas market,” she says. “This helps me to get my patterns and designs to make something amazing for all of us here.”

Even Mendoza’s accessories always have a personal touch. She makes most of the jewelry she sells herself, and she takes personal pride in the shoes she carries. “I’m the wedge queen; it’s what all my customers always want,” she jokes. The store also carries purses, wine glasses, candles, hair accessories and scarves to add that extra something to every outfit.

La Boutique is also committed to outreach in the Corpus Christi community, participating in events like the Head to Toe Women’s Expo, as well as the Sembradores Style Show every year.

Mendoza is in her element at La Boutique. She says she always loved to dress up as a child, and even now, she doesn’t wait for a special occasion to dress up. “When I get something new, I can’t wait to wear it,” she says. “I love getting up every morning and dressing up for myself, and my husband loves it, too.”

She loves the clothes, and she loves helping customers find things they love when they walk in the store. “I love when people walk in and they let me help them pick out things,” she says. “We play with colors and put things together that are unexpected for them, but work out great.”

Now Mendoza is working on the fall line; she says colors will be a little bit darker, but the fabrics will still be very lightweight to accommodate the South Texas climate. Her customers have lots of chances to come check it all out; there are fun “Girls’ Night Out” fashion shows with wine and music every few weeks, so there’s always something fun happening at La Boutique!

For more information, find La Boutique on Facebook at “La Boutique Classy and Fabulous”; visit the store at 5440 Everhart Road, Ste. 7, in Corpus Christi, Texas; or call 361-947-6274.

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