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Clothing boutique provides specialized service
A heavy, spicy scent wafts through the air while the soothing Celtic sounds of Enya fill the new clothing store on Snoqualmie Ridge.
"I wanted it [the store] to be comfortable for anybody to come in," said owner Heather Karl, who celebrated the opening of Indigo Ridge on Oct. 15 of last year. "It's more about the store than it is about me."
The name of the boutique came from the color of dye used in coloring blue jeans and the fact that the store is located on the Ridge, Karl said.
Lola, Karl's 4-month-old English bulldog, rests at the foot of the register counter.
Lola is one of three dogs Karl owns, though she is the only one who visits the shop because of her temperament. At home, Karl also has fish, parrots and frogs.
Playful and obedient, Lola seems the unofficial mascot of the store, welcoming dog lovers who peruse the racks of clothing; Karl puts her inside the office when those less enthusiastic about canines enter.
In addition to appealing to people's dog interaction preferences, Karl said that she caters to the needs of customers in many other ways, including wrapping purchases for each customer and eagerly accepting suggestions for brands that people would like to see in her store.
"I'll try anything," she said.
Specialized services like that are her goal, Karl said.
"I feel like that's hard to find anymore, incidentally," said patron Dr. Suzanne Payment.
Two years ago, Karl said, she told her husband of 26 years, James, that she wanted to move to the area from their home in Kirkland. Her husband told her that if she wanted to move to the Valley, she should open a business there, so she did.
After attending college in Illinois, Karl worked as a pastry chef. She started in retail after being diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome. This is the first business she has owned.
She has one employee working at the store currently, and her husband helps out, too.
"I learned I love this as much as being a pastry chef," she said, noting she could not think of any other boutique in the area quite like hers. "I'm getting new stuff all the time."
Though they still reside in Kirkland, Karl said she and her husband will start looking for homes nearby in the spring.
Karl considers the shop to be in the mid-range price scale, featuring elegance and comfort. The store also has a kid-friendly atmosphere, she said, with movies and a television for children to watch while adults shop.
In addition to women's clothing, with brands such as Tommy Bahama, Blue Cult, Mac & Jac and more, the store features fun, female-friendly books, knickknacks and photography from a local photographer.
Karl said she may carry men's clothing in the future, and she doesn't expect to stop there.
"Give me time; I'm ambitious," Karl said.
Hours for the boutique are Tuesdays through Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sundays, noon to 5 p.m. Indigo Ridge is located at 35016 S.E. Kinsey St. For more information, call (425) 396-1250.