Elephant and pink Eiffel tower prints; just two of the in vogue designs you’ll encounter as a first-time visitor to this loved and local boutique at the Downtown Mall. This women’s clothing and accessory store is modeled after New York’s fashionable, Spring St.; “the most fun street in New York,” according to the store’s owner, Cynthia Shroeder. The entirety of this renowned NYC shopping district can be found reflected in Charlottesville’s very own, Spring St. Boutique. By providing preppy urbanite attire, sleek shoes and boots, and jewelry imported directly from the artist community, this boutique brings the big city to Virginia–and at decent costs. The store’s management prides itself in its ability to sell high quality items at prices to smile at, while offering a number of luxury items like Hunter Boots that the courteous shopper may also browse.
As a former gallery owner in Soho, Ms. Shroeder saw the immense value in integrating arts and culture into her business model in ways that actively engage the larger community. If you haven’t yet found an excuse to peruse this delightful store, Spring St. hosts monthly art shows, “Fridays After Five,” showcasing and selling work by local artists. As Cynthia and I strolled the store floor, she pointed to a series of Buddha collages by Toni Gonchoroff, a featured artist, and spoke with me on some of the tenets of Buddhist philosophy, before showing me to a rack of printed cardigans and country-chic vests (This is only one small indicator the visitor is in for an awesome experience at Spring St. Boutique!) Apart from sales, the store also participates in the annual “Toys for Tots” fundraiser, as a drop-off location, and sells Chavez for Charity jewelry, which directs a portion of the proceeds to a variety of causes.
From Spring St.’s palatable mixed pricing points to the admirable amount of social value it yields to C’ville, this boutique is one fashion gurus and novice shoppers alike would regret to miss. Whether you’ve come for a restock on seasonal gear, free fashion advice, or interior items to bring life to a new dorm at UVA, Spring St. and staff will be there, friendly, and ready to assist. Spring St. Boutique, like its artful inspirations, is like a well-planned painting: Your eyes will never run out of colorful and lively things to look at, let alone purchase, for yourself, a lover, or dear friend.