You know you’re in the company of a fashionista when you hear terms like “pieces” and “investments” used to refer to apparel.
These are just some of the words that Ashley Sheely said when I visited her shop, Presence Luxury Fashion Boutique, located on Gettysburg Road in Camp Hill.
Sheely’s passion for fashion goes way back.
“I knew I wanted to work in the business from the time I was 4 years old,” she said.
Describing her fashion background, Sheely became so animated that you could tell right then that she was in her element.
“In high school, I worked for Maggie Adams, a high-end boutique, which gave me great experience,” she said.
Sheely didn’t stop there. She went on to earn three degrees in the fashion and merchandising fields to add to her bona fides. She then did stints in retail environments to learn about leading, hiring and developing a team and networking.
Sheely purchased the 5,100-square-foot shop last December from the previous owner, who retired and moved to Florida. The exterior is an attention-commanding shade of purple, designed to get the attention of passersby.
“It used to be gray and wasn’t painted in decades,” she said. “I had an epiphany and decided to paint it the color of royalty. Now, people come in just to check out what’s inside.”
The roomy interior is also done in hues of purple, with rich grays and metallics rounding out the color scheme. Inviting and attractive couches and high-backed chairs scream lux.
“Our women tend to love and respect art, culture, travel and the finer things in life, and we want to make them comfortable here,” Sheely said.
She sells a variety of fine apparel, including shoes and accessories, costume and fine jewelry, handbags, scarves, blouses, sweaters, blazers, outerwear, skirts, pants, belts, pajamas and gifts.
“I’m bringing my clients the crème de la crème of high-end brands from all over the world,” she said.
Two brands that fly out the door are Joseph Ribkoff and Frank Lyman.
“Ribkoff and Lyman have 1,000 pieces in their collection on a quarterly basis, and I’m selecting the best 150 of those styles from each brand to carry here,” she said.
Others include Diane von Furstenberg, Johnny Was, Zadig and Voltaire, Lisa Todd, Margo Morrison jewelry, Vilagallo, Joe’s Jeans, AZI, Mac Duggal and more.
Trade show travel is something that she does often, visiting New York’s Javits Center twice a year for the Coterie and Magic Show, which attracts thousands of vendors. She also visits showrooms—Mac Duggal is up next on the calendar.
“He’s one of the top dress designers in the world, and they usually ask for my feedback during private appointments,” Sheely said.
Debbie Beutler of Mechanicsburg is a client, having purchased her 46th reunion dress and her mother-of-the-groom dress at the boutique.
“She helped me with the dress, shoes and accessories,” Beutler said. “The minute I walked in, we really connected. She’s so genuine, and we’re fortunate to have such a great store in this area.”
Leslie Semones of Camp Hill said that she knew Sheely from her time at Talbots and followed her when she discovered that she was buying a boutique. As a result, she decided to treat her mom to an outfit there.
“I told her that the gift would be her Christmas, Mother’s Day and birthday gift,” said Semones. “Ashley spent so much time making my mom feel like an absolute movie star, and my mom was just delighted.”
In addition to regular hours, Sheely schedules private personal styling appointments throughout the week on request.
“I also help women select a few pieces and show them the many ways they can be worn with our look-books,” she said.
For Sheely, the most rewarding part of owning a store may be the personal connections she makes.
“When you have a private boutique, you form a connection with clients so that you end up knowing about their family, careers and aspirations,” she said. “They trust us for some of the most important events in their lives or sometimes just for a pick-me-up. It’s been an extremely rewarding experience.”
Presence Luxury Fashion Boutique is located at 3580 Gettysburg Rd., Camp Hill. For more information, call 717-761-8875 or visit www.presenceboutique.com.
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