Hotoveli Boutique, Richland’s newest fashion hub, has arrived at Queensgate Village, giving area fashionistas another local outlet to find the perfect outift, or pieces to complete their current wardrobe.
Hotoveli offers a fashion house atmosphere with a selection of name brand, high-end items, as well as affordable styles to suit daughters, mothers and grandmothers alike.
“I handpick everything, and I love everything that’s in here,” said owner Deane Duncan.
When selecting items for the shop at 1950 Keene Road, Duncan said she orders what she is personally attracted to and what she senses will suit her clients.
“I love pieces that are on-trend, but you can pull them out of your closet five years from now and they’ll still be on-trend. Timeless pieces with some trendiness,” Duncan said.
Among the clothing, shoes, felt hats, jewelry and other accessories, she offers high-end brands like Louis Vuitton and Chanel, but also other more affordable labels and popular Bohemian and vintage-inspired brands such as Free People, Johnny Was and others.
“I only have a handful of select designers that I deal with,” Duncan said.
In addition to Hotoveli’s own store label, other brands stocked include Aratta, Atenti, Bed Stü, Brighton, Caite, Day Dreamer, Dynamic, Fossil, Freebird, French Kande, Gypsy, Hidden, LA Trading, Lack of Color, Lauren Moshi, LoveRiche, Lucky Star Jewels, Miracle Mile, Rachel Allen, Rock Revival, Terani Couture, Thymes, Trunk LTD, Voluspa, Yunis K and Zowee Jewels.
“I just carry a lot of unique things that I don’t think a lot of other stores around here carry,” she said.
The “modern chic boutique” opened in May, after moving back to the Columbia Basin from its Lake Havasu, Arizona, location of three years.
Duncan originally opened the shop in her hometown of Moses Lake almost a decade ago, coming up with the name with the help of her son by blending old Italian family names with fashion buzz words.
She and her husband visited Lake Havasu several years later, loved it and moved there. Duncan decided to bring her shop with her, after a former restaurant suite she was looking at near Bonefish Grill in Richland fell through.
“I loved Lake Havasu. It was so amazing; the people there were really supportive,” Duncan said. “I missed my family though.” Her son lives in Tri-Cities.
When the Duncans moved to Tri-Cities in winter 2019, the 2,300-square-foot space was the biggest on the market.
“We had signed and planned to move (the store) in March to here from Havasu. I had two semis loaded of just my store, and then Covid went into full swing. I didn’t know if I would even be able to cross state lines,” Duncan said.
“I feel blessed to have made it this far, to have opened a store in the middle of Covid,” she said, adding that her Havasu customers have continued to support her through Hotoveli’s online store at hotovelirocks.com.
Longtime Moses Lake customers also have been making the drive to Tri-Cities to support the boutique, she said.
“So, I’m being positive. I feel like I have an amazing clientele that’s already started spreading the word for me and it’s going to be good, I just need to make it through this,” she said.
Duncan said local business began to take off when a group of girls came in looking for outfits for their senior pictures.
“I’ve been styling a lot of senior portrait shoots and it’s saved me,” she said. “I have them coming from Hermiston, Sunnyside, Yakima, Moses Lake … The girls that come in, I love helping them. I want them to feel amazing.”
Hotoveli also carries homecoming and prom dresses in the fall and spring.
For Duncan, the store is more than just selling products.
“When these girls come in and I spend a couple hours to get the perfect dress and outfit to make them feel amazing, it’s personal, like I’m their mother almost. Same with homecoming and proms—I would cry. Those are my girls who were in like ninth and tenth grade and they would come for their volleyball banquet night and prom and homecoming and rush at Washington State University and then wedding announcement photos,” she said.
Duncan emphasized that she carries styles and accessories to suit all ages. “I want everyone that comes in to feel like they can find something.” She said that she’s working on expanding her plus-size selections, seeking cuts and fabrics flattering to more shapely figures.
Naturally, Duncan has had to reassess the needs of her customer base now that she’s back in the Pacific Northwest. “It’s such different weather (than in Havasu) that I was excited to be able to this year bring in lots more cardigans and sweaters,” she said. “I love fall, I love layers, I love cardigans, I love boots, so I’m excited.”
Duncan said she works constantly to expand her offerings, bring in new products, and keep it fresh at Hotoveli. “It’s like Christmas every day when the UPS guy comes,” she said.
In a retail world that’s increasingly moving to online transactions, local brick-and-mortar shops like Hotoveli find their niche by delivering a personal touch.
“I get to know (customers) on a personal level and what their style is. I love that, it’s what I love most. I could literally run this store out of my home on Facebook and Instagram, but what’s the fun of that? It’s just about building relationships. I love knowing people on a personal level and it’s genuine,” Duncan said.
Mala Pierce, one of Hotoveli’s Lake Havasu customers, has returned again and again to the boutique, even now that it’s moved.
“Most of the clothes in my closet are Hotoveli,” she said. “(Deane) was so amazing and she has the most beautiful clothes … She pretty much knows her people and will show you what she knows you’ll like.”
“She has great style and class,” she added. “She has an array from somebody who’s a teenager or in their early 20s or 40s and older like me.”
Overall, Pierce said, “(Deane) is wonderful and just great to deal with and she became a personal friend — not just someone I go in and buy from.”
For now, Duncan said it will just be her running the shop’s day-to-day operations, so customers can expect to find her and her keen styling advice when they stop in.
She said she is also looking forward to holding a grand opening once the state’s social distancing restrictions have lifted.
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