Lavish continues on with new owner
Helen Squires knows how to make a snap decision
Back in January, Charlotte Michael, then-owner of Lavish Boutique, decided it was time to let her shop go. When she asked Squires if she wanted to buy it, there was barely a hesitation.
“I didn’t even think,” Squires said. “The next day, I told her ‘Let’s just do it.’
“It was actually a really spontaneous thing. It was really quick.”
Fast forward nearly 10 months and Squires has nothing but good things to say about the transfer in ownership of the store, which offers a variety of formalwear and casualwear. She’s worked at the store, learning the ins and outs of the business since May.
“I love her dearly,” Squires said about Michael. “I’m so glad this worked out for us.”
In the throes of homecoming season, Squires said she loves helping young women and their families find the perfect dress for their specific occasions.
“We’ve had a great season this year, so I’ve been just enjoying every little single moment of Lavish life,” she said, gesturing to the store logo above the entrance to the Morgantown Mall boutique.
“It’s been very lovely, especially after this month for the homecoming season, you really see it. You taste every little bit of it and you see all the excitement for the girls,” Squires said.
In addition to the formal and casualwear training, Squires said she’s been learning a lot about pageant life. Lavish is where many pageant contestants buy their dresses and accessories.
“The girls, they are the ones that, like, hold my hand, carry and teach me their inside world,” she said. “They totally just opened my whole world.”
When customer Lisa Schrout needed to purchase a dress for her daughter Jessica’s pageant, she knew to head to Lavish since she’d been there before.
Schrout, who has three daughters, Kayla, Jessica and Isabella, said she’s been nothing but pleased with Squires’ store.
“If I didn’t like the selection, I surely wouldn’t have bought anything,” she said, laughing, noting that she even purchased a cocktail dress for herself there.
She appreciates the way Squires has promoted the store, especially when she held a fashion show to display some of the fashions.
“There’s no way to not like her. She’s got more energy than the Energizer rabbit,” Schrout said. “She didn’t know me from Adam, and she took my daughter Jessica under her wing.
“I will go back and buy off of her continuously because of the way I was treated.”
Although this is her first time owning a fashion boutique, Squires is no stranger to customer service.
She came to WVU from Hong Kong for school in 2000, then got married, had a child and decided to stay here. She worked at Hibachi Japanese Steakhouse for 13 years before opening her own cafe, a bubble tea eatery on University Avenue.
Now with owning Lavish, she said she’s happy she can always turn to her family, who have been so supportive.
“For this venture, especially, just because it happened so quick. Instead of doubting my instinct, instead of doubting my decision-making, instead of doubting why I’m going into it so quickly and changed my whole view completely, they just, like, support me ... because they believe in me. They believe in what I’m doing. They believe what I’m seeing,” she said.
“I’m just more than happy to re-introduce Lavish.”