Thursday, December 13, 2012
Melrose Boutique owner Melanie Settles is on a mission to bring fashion to the Scenic City.
“I want to bring that New York, Los Angeles or Atlanta flair to Chattanooga,” she said. “I want to let people know that even though a room is full of gray and black, you can wear hot pink. You can be fashionable even in a smaller city.”
Before moving back home to Chattanooga, Settles worked as a professional stylist for a production company in Atlanta. She and her husband, who retired from the NFL, decided to move back to their hometown to raise a family. That’s when Settles decided to open the boutique, which has been open for almost a year now, at 3204 Brainerd Road.
“I chose this area because I grew up on Missionary Ridge,” she said. “I really want Brainerd Road to become a little Frazier Avenue or Main Street. There’s no reason it shouldn’t be since it’s the busiest road in Chattanooga.”
Settles is doing her part to create that atmosphere on Brainerd Road by providing custom and handmade items made by up and coming designers at the boutique. During her work as a stylist, she said she made a lot of great connections with designers who are now featuring their work in the store.
“My favorite line is by this lady in Israel and she calls it ‘Gado Gado,’” said Settles. “I call it the ‘tree line’ because it has prints of trees all over the clothing. The patterns are so exquisite.”
The boutique features a variety of tops, dresses, custom jewelry, Leila Lou fragrances, leggings, accessories and shoes. Settles recently added a $20 rack and said she regularly runs promotions on different items.
“One of the great things about us is the price point,” she said. “Nothing in the store is over $150. We’ve got girls coming in to buy prom dresses or $10 rings. There’s something that’s comfortable for everyone’s economic status.”
In addition to a wide variety of styles and price points, Settles said she is also able to work with people to create custom sizes. She said she regularly asks designers to create a “smedium” size that’s fuller in the top and then tapers at the bottom. She said she is also available to open the store after hours by appointment or to do contract styling work for customers and others in the community.
“If you want to stand out and not look like anyone else in the room, or if you want to look nice but don’t want to look like the lady next to you, come shop at Melrose,” said Settles.
She said some of her goals include keeping current trends stocked at the boutique, expanding the store’s shoe lines and eventually opening a children’s boutique for her daughter and the daughter she will deliver later this year.
“I wake up loving what I’m doing every day,” Settles said. “I just love what I do and I’m going to keep pushing until I can’t push anymore.”
For more information about the boutique, call 710-2305 or visit www.facebook.com/shopmelroseboutique.