Empowering women is aim of new luxury lingerie boutique, Philocaly

The grand opening for Philocaly, a new luxury lingerie boutique, will take place Saturday, July 23 – a day when “unmentionables” will definitely be talked about. “Philocaly” is Greek for “love of beauty.”

[blockquote quote=”We just want to offer services for all women of all shapes, sizes, careers, stay-at-home moms – everyone.” source=”Faith Hovde, owner of Philocaly” align=”right” max_width=”300px”]

“We want people to feel pretty with what they’re wearing underneath; it’s all about empowering women,” Philocaly Owner Faith Hovde said. Bras, panties, sleepwear, corsets, bustiers, teddies and bra/underwear sets are available in the boutique, which is an extension of personal styling and photography departments.

The new shop is housed within Emerald Studios, which with the addition of beautiful, comfortable undergarments, Hovde said is now a one-stop-shop for the empowerment of women.

The boutique’s focus is on all things “really feminine and pretty, but functional,” Hovde said. She can special-order items, and the specialty shop carries sizes from AAA through I and J.

“Philocaly was born because I do glamour photography and clients regularly ask where to buy underclothing. There was nowhere locally for women of all sizes to buy pretty lingerie,” she said. “I decided to take the plunge and open it myself. We cater to women of all shapes and sizes.”

It wasn’t a spur-of-the-moment decision. Hovde started taking notes, planning and thinking about the concept four years ago. The mental planning came after launching Emerald Studios, which specalizes in beauty and boudoir photography, in 2006. She added a personal styling department about two years ago.

“We had a soft opening for Philocaly in May and I’ve already had to build our inventory back up a couple of times,” Hovde said. Patrons will enjoy a first-hand view of an impressive inventory of women’s lingerie, light refreshments and special offers during the grand opening.

Because intimates are, well…intimate, ladies should call for appointments, which are available Monday through Saturday. Friends may book a shared appointment time or individuals can book a private shopping experience. Appointments include a custom bra fitting, which takes less than 10 minutes.

“We started the custom bra fittings because when we do personal styling, we do bra fittings and found that most women are not wearing the correct bra size,” Hovde said.

In addition to the lingerie boutique, Emerald Studios offers a myriad services starting at $100. Hovde and two part-time employees currently offer: Full Makeover— head to toe style evaluation, haircut and color; Closet Audit—   personal shopping, makeup lesson and custom app that includes favorite outfits, tips and tricks specific to the client; Style Evaluation— help finding or refining your style with a style board and wardrobe recommendations; Closet Audit— specialists visit a home and literally “weed out” what is in disrepair or no longer fits the desired style and put together complete outfits from the remaining clothes in a client’s closet; create a custom app with outfits you love); Personal Shopping (Emerald staff runs around and finds wardrobe pieces to fit your style while you wait in the dressing room); Husband’s Shopping Guide (interview you and create shoppable list for husbands); Virtual Services (for those living outside the Tri-Cities); Vacation Styling/Packing (Emerald staff packs your suitcases so you get the most out of your trip; and Event Styling (date night or special events; one-time styling).

“We just want to offer services for all women of all shapes, sizes, careers, stay-at-home moms – everyone,” Hovde said. “I want to serve the community and our clients. My main mission is to help women feel really good about themselves and empower them to have great lives.

She hopes to have a successful grand opening and show area residents what her company has to offer. Eventually, Hovde would like to own a separate storefront with more traditional hours.

“I’d also like to get to the point where both of my employees are full time. I love having a small business, though, so I don’t anticipate it growing to the point that requires me to manage people. I like that they mostly manage themselves because they enjoy the work they’re doing,” Hovde said.

The personal styling department was born after doing photo shoots and telling clients to bring “everything and anything” from their wardrobes, Hovde said.

“I pulled together outfits that they said they never would have thought of on their own. I’m trained in women’s portraiture and really work with all ages, shapes and sizes and what complements them,” Hovde said. The “Closet Audit” is one of Emerald Studios’ most popular services.

“I first did it just for clients and then it spread to others through word-of-mouth. We go into their closets and put new outfits together. We’re kind of a cross between the shows ‘What Not to Wear’ and ‘How to Look Good Naked,’” Hovde laughed. “We really help empower women to be the best version of themselves.”

Another aspect of the business is speaking engagements and classes ranging from self-esteem and confidence to makeup application classes and how to dress for a variety of business sectors.

“I’m speaking to employees of a law firm this week on how to dress at work. Some businesses have dress codes,” Hovde said. She has also done speaking engagements for Mothers of PreSchoolers groups and other businesses.

“We offer services that people don’t think of in the Tri-Cities, but we look outside the Tri-Cities for our inspiration and bring a world-class experience to you here,” Hovde said. “The business has really grown steadily. We’re now a one-stop-shop for boudoir photography. We tie it all together in a pretty bow.”

Interested persons my visit www.emeraldstudios.info, or call 509-531-1653 to book an appointment. Philocaly is located inside Emerald Studios at 3311 W. Clearwater Ave., Suite B170, Kennewick. Hovde said it’s best to make appointments three weeks to one month in advance.

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