From the vinyl flowers and decorations on the store window to the custom-made sign up above, Rose and Violets Boutique owner Melissa Finkel’s artistic flair and personality are on display before customers even walk though the store’s hot-pink front door.
Named after her two daughters’ middle names, Finkel opened the local boutique in January 2017. The South Austin native’s store features women’s clothing as well as candles, soaps, quirky gifts and other knickknacks.
Finkel said she and her husband have a service industry background; they co-own the CraigO’s Pizza location near Onion Creek and a Baskin-Robbins on Slaughter Lane. However, the boutique is her personal project.
“I picked the ceiling, I picked the floors, so a lot of my heart is in it,” she said. “People think boutiques are very expensive. I want [the store] to be beautiful and want you to feel special when you’re here, but I don’t want you to feel bad when you leave because you bought a top.”
Naturally, Finkel said, as a boutique owner she loves shopping and to make connections with her customers. Every item in the store is hand-selected, and when products are sold Finkel finds new products to replace them—meaning her stock changes each week.
“People like coming in and knowing I’ve curated every product in here,” she said. “If you come in here, you know that I’ve picked the item, I’ve tried the product.”
The goal at the store is to be inclusive, she said. While some boutiques only carry smaller sizes, are on the expensive side or cater to a younger crowd, Finkel said she picks clothing for “three generations of shoppers” with differing body types and budgets.
The boutique staff is happy, helpful and nonjudgmental to help “lift people up,” Finkel said.
“I don’t want to make women feel uncomfortable,” she said. “I want people to be happy, and their happiness makes me happy.”
Finkel also has a social media presence on Facebook and Instagram, which allows regular customers to keep up with new products. While the boutique’s website does not have an online shop, she hopes to launch one in 2019.
Owner Melissa Finkel said she put a stamp of approval on every product offered at Rose and Violets Boutique. Some of her favorites include Kut Denim products and Lysse leggings, both of which are the store’s high-end products, she said.
She is also a strong supporter of Bridgewater Candles, which gives back through its “Light a Candle, Feed a Child” campaign. For each candle sold, Bridgewater donates three meals to children in need across the world, Finkel said. She also burns Bridgewater Candles in-store, so customers can try the product first-hand as they shop.