An arrowhead necklace, fringe dress or a pair of faux suede booties can help someone stand out from the crowd and showcase her style. Women can now find these unique pieces and more at Angelia Darty’s Bohemian Bliss boutique.
Darty has experience doing hair, makeup and even direct sales, but she knew she wanted to have her own business one day. And with an entrepreneurial spirit and passion for fashion, she knew where to start.
She began with a jewelry boutique online toward the end of last year. Her customer base and site quickly grew, and Darty began selling apparel online, as well.
In addition to her online store, Darty also took her trendy pieces to local shows to build her brand. It was during these events that she constantly got asked if she had a storefront.
So, she started the process of finding the perfect location, and that’s when she came across the spot in Hoover’s Lee Branch Shopping Center on U.S. 280.
“The area has a lot of new stuff coming and is really growing,” Darty says. “I was blessed with the opportunity to open a storefront.”
She held the grand opening for Bohemian Bliss on Feb. 12, which had a special meaning for Darty. That was her mother’s birthday, so the date seemed like the perfect time to launch the storefront since her mother passed away last October.
While her customers can now come to the store, try on outfits, talk with Darty and just enjoy the atmosphere, they can still purchase items on her online store, which is run by her husband, Jon.
The boutique carries a variety of pieces and styles that encompass the free-spirit mindset associated with being bohemian, she says. Like the store’s slogan says, it is “capturing the gypsy in you.”
“I’m not scared to step outside of the box,” she says. “I want the store to be fashionable yet funky. The clothes and accessories are for women who want to stand out from the crowd.”
Bohemian Bliss carries clothing like pants, dresses and tops, along with shoes. There are also plus-size tops and bottoms. The boutique’s accessories include hats, bracelets, cuffs, earrings, necklaces, rings and handbags.
Currently, her shoes are the most popular pieces, including Bella Marie faux suede booties, Sbicca Maestro and Sbicca Pitch.
There are also several eclectic gift items including clutches, makeup erasers, bag charms and the Color Switch, which allows women to quickly switch between eye shadow colors on their brushes.
She says she hopes her customers not only find unique pieces at the shop, but she also wants everything to be affordable. Besides the shoes, she says she tries to keep all of the pieces below $60 — making it possible for shoppers to come and get a full outfit for $100.
“When I would go shopping, I just wanted to have something cool to wear without spending a fortune on it,” Darty says. “I’m trying to keep that in mind when choosing what to carry in the store.”
She constantly watches trends, follows fashion bloggers and keeps her eye on celebrity-inspired pieces to give her customers a wide variety of trendy items.
But Bohemian Bliss’s unique, free-spirit style isn’t the only thing that sets it apart. Darty’s dedication to customer service and her passion for building relationships will also keep customers coming back.
Her commitment to relationships is why she handwrites cards to every customer who purchases something from her online store.
“I like customer interaction” Darty says. “I’m not a behind-the-scenes type of person. I just love helping people, like picking out outfits with them.”
The boutique’s atmosphere is also one-of-a-kind, she adds.
“It will look nothing like any store in Birmingham,” she says. “It’s so funky and fun.”
She hopes to grow the store and hire a team of young women down the road who can also participate in fashion shows that will raise awareness for local charities and causes.
“That’s a passion of mine,” Darty says. “I can’t wait to give back to the community and take this to the next level.”
She would also like to bring the boutique to others areas of Birmingham and maybe even Tuscaloosa, her hometown, in the future.
Located in the Lee Branch Shopping Center, Bohemian Bliss is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and is closed on Sunday.