We love supporting local shops and designers — the individualized attention you get from a local retailer cannot be matched. Houston has its fair share of trendy and unique boutiques, and Raspberry Rose is one of our faves. Located in Rice Village, Raspberry Rose has outfitted women for well over 30 years. Walk inside more than once and expect to be greeted by name — they treat everyone like family! The current owner, Carrie Schwartzenburg, literally grew up in the boutique playing amongst the racks of clothing and, in the process, learned the business from her mother, Maureen Sweeney. Maureen, who founded RR, moved the store from Bellaire to the current location in 1983, and Carrie took over when her mother was ready to retire. The staff, playfully called “the Rose girls,” has created a relaxed shopping and browsing haven. These ladies are always on the ready to assist with on-trend looks, accessorizing, and, yes, even letting you know when a piece is not quite “you.” That is the kind of personal shopping experience you cannot get from larger department stores or online. The staff at RR gets to know you, your personality, and your style. The clothing selection is well curated and has a little something for everyone. While in the shop, we have seen teenagers and older ladies alike shopping the boutique. You’ll find designs that are work ready, party perfect, or casual Friday and many looks in between. Do not be surprised to find pieces by famous designers paired with items from local Houston artisans. Carrie and her team love to support local designers and many of those collaborations can be found in RR. Here are a few of our favorite looks we found at Raspberry Rose:
This dress caught our eye right away…so comfy and so versatile. The color is what stands out. Typically, a little black dress to head out for cocktails would be sufficient, but in a sea of cute black ensembles, we’d rather drink to this olive-toned v-neck. The color is subtle but noticeable and paired with a fun calf hair leopard wedge, this dress gives off just the right vibe. The clutch is a special edition handbag created by Elaine Turner (another Rice Village must-shop!) exclusively for Heroes and Handbags, with proceeds going to the charity Heroes For Children, and it compliments the outfit perfectly. Around her neck, Chastiti chose a gorgeous cross necklace by Houston designer Rebecca Lankford and a long pendant by Sonya Renée and added wrap bracelets by Chan Luu. While Chastiti went with a more evening look with this Allen Allen creation, the dress can also take you to a business meeting with pumps and a blazer!
This sequined top by Tart is perfect for a night out with the girls. The distressed denim tones down the flash of the top, making it a more accessible look, and the nude accessories keep the focus on this fab piece! The jeans are some of the most comfortable around. We adore Joe’s jeans and can’t get enough of this totally worn look. A fun fringed clutch throws in a little boho, and the Monica Haff necklace (another local designer) and ring by Virgin Saints and Angels complete the look. It is amazing to see firsthand how RR promotes local designers. The store stocks some of the most creative and unique accessories we have seen!
Being a super busy, crazy-scheduled mom of three and managing partner of a busy law firm, Chastiti is always looking for clothes that are polished enough to wear to the office on non-court days, but easy enough to transition to her regular life. This Bella Dahl dress should be a staple in every woman’s closet. It is hands down the most comfortable shirt dress around. The fabric feels like your favorite sheets, but the dress stays crisp throughout the day. Chastiti paired it with fun weekend or girls night out accessories, but again, you could easily pair this soft gray dress with patent wedges, multi-strand pearls and be office ready in minutes. The pop of hot pink of the Betty James-designed beaded necklace catches the eye and livens up the softness of the fabric. Throwing in a little turquoise in both the bracelets and earrings, also Betty James creations, and the beaded clutch gives this look an unexpected twist. With Fall in the not too distant future (yes, we know, it’s 100 degrees in the shade right now) this must-have dress would be very chic with black suede booties or patterned tights for a football game or casual date night.
This Grecian-style halter dress is SUCH a beauty, but the best part of this Bailey 44 dress is the super soft, draped fabric. This navy summer sundress has such a bold look, and the differing lengths give it an edge, but you will want to wear it everywhere because it is so comfortable! Chandra paired the dress with gold gladiator sandals, but strappy metallic heels would look amazing as well. This dress is perfect for summer evening pool parties, outdoor weddings, or cocktail fetes. Dress up or down, and with the right accessories, you could utilize this dress year round. And of course this Elaine Turner clutch can pull any outfit together. Manager of RR, Haley, helped choose accessories, and the gold leaf-shaped earrings by Nashelle and the handmade cuff by Taylor & Tessier (Aspen-based designers) were the perfect touch to this look. Interesting fact: Haley has her own line of custom earrings called Haley E. Designs, which can also be found at RR, so she has an amazing eye for accessorizing — another reason to shop local!
Raspberry Rose is not just another boutique. The Rose girls have created one of those stores where you want to meet up with your sister or your girlfriends and shop before lunch or drinks. You want to hang out in the dressing rooms and swap ideas. This is the place to find unique clothing and jewelry and to catch up on much needed girl time. We had such a fun time with these ladies and loved getting to play dress up at the store. Not many places in Houston can boast service to over three generations of women, but Raspberry Rose can. The proof is not only in the pictorial collection of the storied history of the boutique gracing RR walls, but also in the clientele who can remember coming to the store with their mothers and now their daughters. What a rare and special place in a city this large to have generations of women still finding common ground in fashion!
All clothing and jewelry is available locally at the fabulous Raspberry Rose boutique in Rice Village. As a special treat for our followers, Raspberry Rose will give you a 10% discount on your purchase until August 8, 2015. Just mention In the Loop Style to receive this great offer! Don’t forget to sign up for the RR newsletter and special promotions on the RR website.