Sunday, September 29, 2013
McKinney fashionista celebrates 20 years of business on the square
Orisons dresses women of all ages in Texas style.
MCKINNEY As retail neighbors come and go and tenants change year-round, at least one shop is a constant on the McKinney square. And it dresses Texas.
Orisons Boutique, at 113 E. Virginia St., next month will celebrate 20 years downtown.
"We try to create a whole experience, a certain flare," owner Bonnie Shaw said of the shop's lasting presence. "We have a direction and we stay to a story."
In the fashion business, that story can change by the season. The boutique carries designers Lucchese Boots, Double D Ranch, Tasha Polizzi, Patricia Wolf, Marrika Nakk and Vintage Revival, to name several. It will introduce Pendleton Clothing and Home Collection in coming weeks.
But it's the custom selection and artsy backdrop that attracts customers. Intermingled in the store are primitive art, pueblo pottery and hand-woven baskets from places like Ethiopia and Belgium - pieces of Shaw's world-traveling past.
Orisons started in 1993 as a place for such exotics and unusual antiques - those that shortly became accessories to the boutique's main attraction.
"I kept myself busy trying to keep clothing stocked, so I started phasing out antiques," said Shaw, who previously owned Legacy Trading Company in Dallas. "We moved totally into dressing Texas."
Over the years, that's meant picking out wardrobes for women of all ages to attend charity events, corporate gatherings and even White House inaugurations, Shaw said. Her team of stylists picks out additions for customers to "make a statement" through "a little touch of Texas to their corporate wear," she said.
"They want to become part of Texas and we help them do that," she said.
Orisons orders new and trending designs a year out, always to stay ahead of fashion. The shop steers away from labeling its products "Western," preferring romantic with a playful, elegant tilt. Women consistently come from Houston and from Tulsa, Okla., for the hand-selected designers featured at the store, Shaw said.
"We're not necessarily country and not Western," said Sher Swift, boutique manager. "We put our twist on everything. We offer something you're not going to find anywhere else."
That's a must for thriving downtown, which has evolved into McKinney's busiest tourist draw. An economic slump and repeated street work has sometimes led to slower times around the square, but nothing Orisons couldn't endure.
"A lot of the designers have been with us from the beginning," Swift said. "You don't find that a lot in retail."
The boutique operates in its third downtown spot, previous moves spurred by available, more appealing space, Shaw said. It's stayed on the square, though, and teamwork has helped. If the shop doesn't carry a certain product, Orisons directs customers to neighboring shops that might, and vice versa, she said.
Like most businesses, the boutique spreads its message through social media and online outlets. But its best promotion, Swift said, comes from satisfied customers showing off their outfit to friends and coworkers.
For many this fall, Shaw said, their casual twirling will likely come in tall boots, velvet and natural-stone necklaces. Whatever their choice, if they come from Orisons they'll be dressing Texas.
"Our shop and our ladies have a gift for style," Shaw said. "A lot of people look to us for that."
For an online glimpse at Orisons Boutique's selection, visit orisons.co.
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