Shan Stavropoulous knows the importance of a fun and easy environment in her store, Luvbird Boutique.
Stavropoulous, was born in Alliance, Nebraska. She spent time in California, working in various fashion related positions, such as a merchandiser in multiple retail atmospheres including Nouvelle Eve and General Growth Properties, the management company behind several local malls. Before opening the store she also worked as a coach for a dance team and was the head coach of the Omaha Nighthawks cheerleaders.
After graduating from the University of Nebraska Lincoln with a degree in Textiles, Clothing and Design she opened Luvbird last year.
“The style of the store is very romantic, chic, bright, fun, and whimsical,” Stavropoulous says. “I don’t follow any rules. I just kind of go for what I like and what I know the customer will like.”
Luvbird is incredibly inspired by its owner and her unique style. “Everything is very girly,” she says. “Every piece that I own has something different, whether it’s a detail in the front of the back or ruffles on the sleeves. I don’t own a T-shirt.”
In fact, the store is so influenced by her personal style that she says every time someone who knows her walks into the store their first response is “this is such a Shan store.”
She tries to be on the floor at least 3 to 4 times a week and interact with clients to get a better sense of what they might want or need. And it’s her background as a merchandiser that helps her run her store. There are three basic principles that she applies: sight, sound and smell. When you enter the store you are immediately met with the pleasant aroma of a scented candle, a good playlist and fun and sunny decor.
“A lot of people come in and think it’s a chain which being a visual merchandiser is the biggest compliment.”
Stavropoulous always knew she wanted to be in the fashion world. “I knew I wanted to do this from the time I was six and started playing the Fashion Plates game,” she says. It was also the draw of an unconventional work environment that drew her in.
“I’ve never been an office person. I was always a leader and entrepreneur. I never wanted to sit in front of a computer all day.”
And although there has been a bit of a learning curve to opening her own business she says overall it’s been a great experience.
“People in Omaha have really welcomed us. It’s been wonderful.” At this time Stavropoulous has a lot of options open to her. “I’ve had a lot of people come in and ask me to do a section in the store for workout clothes,” she says. Stavropoulous is considering a greater online presence, which would make retail available for people who live out of town. “That really is the future for a lot of businesses.”
And even though she hasn’t made any plans for more stores, she hasn’t ruled anything out.
“I think it would be really cool for this to be a flagship store, to be able to say that Omaha is where everything started.”
Luvbird Boutique is located at 2110 So. 67th Street, Suite 120 just behind Aksarben Cinema. They are closed Mondays. For further information you can visit the boutique’s Facebook account.