Owner Kairy-tate Barkley, who founded the boutique’s first location in Bellaire in 2008, said she developed the store based on her lifelong appreciation of fashion after she spent years working in the corporate world.
“I always loved clothing, and getting dressed every day was my favorite part of the day. Deciding what I was going to wear, putting together an outfit—it was a creative outlet,” Barkley said.
After it found initial success in Bellaire, French Cuff’s presence grew with the additional Greater Houston location launches before it headed north to The Woodlands in early 2019. Barkley said she has worked to maintain her original vision of an intimate neighborhood boutique stocked with products relevant to its local clientele.
“When I wanted to open the first store, all I had in my mind was, ‘I just want my cute little boutique,’” she said. “With the immediate success of that store, I started thinking, ‘We could provide this in other neighborhoods.’”
As customers enter French Cuff Boutique in The Woodlands, they are greeted with an array of apparel, from footwear to bottoms, tops, outerwear and accessories. Barkley said the shop stocks clothing from popular brands, such as Citizens of Humanity, DL1961, Sundry, Rails, Michael Stars, Lilla P, Karlie, Nicole Miller, Trovata and Bella Dahl. While French Cuff’s ambience is consistent across its four locations, Barkley said each store’s merchandise is tailored to its specific community client base.
The boutique has also adapted amid the coronavirus pandemic to offer curbside pickup alongside its traditional in-store and online shopping options, she said. As many customers have adopted a less formal day-to-day lifestyle, Barkley said, the store has been able to lean into its prominent selection of casual items.
In addition to its selection of products, French Cuff also has a team available to assist customers with personal styling. Barkley said staff members can recommend the best way to breathe new life into an older item from a customer’s closet.
“What makes us different is that we do want to help each client with styling from head to toe,” she said. “We want them to feel comfortable coming here and saying, ‘I have this event that I’m going to,’ or, ‘I want to rework my wardrobe.’ ”
French Cuff Boutique
1900 Lake Woodlands Drive, Ste. 150, The Woodlands
Hours: Mon.-Sat. 10 a.m.-5 p.m., closed Sun.