Tucked away in the shade off Wickham Road in Suntree is a little gem of a place you’ve probably heard of, but might not have visited lately — D Rochelle Boutique. Proprietor Doris Kotovos has created and personified the definition of a true boutique under the roof of Sorelli’s Hair Studio and Spa. If you ask, “how can a person be the ‘definition’ of a boutique?” then you haven’t met Kotovos. There is nothing in her little shop that she can’t tell you intricate design or designer details about and how it can be used to create “that special look” for any event. The shelves, lights, racks and clothes might be the bones of her shop, but she is certainly the heart and soul.
After eight-and-a-half years at her beachside shop, she needed to make a change. “I got together with Rose, the co-owner of Sorelli’s and said, ‘You need me,’ and she said, ‘we think so too.’” Kotovos continued, “I’ve been here for the past three years, and then this past summer I broke through this wall and created this space, which I absolutely love.”
Kotovos says she gets a lot of impulse jewelry buyers. “Women are here getting their hair done, they’re going out, and they see something here and say, ‘Oh, I love that pair of earrings. That’ll go great with my outfit.’” She sells a lot of jewelry; “it’s my favorite thing.” In her previous location, she would sell a lot of gowns and offer special occasion trunk shows, but she has scaled back over the years. She now has a small clientele that will shop her designers’ samples. “I have a lot of people who buy my designers’ samples because they can’t buy this around here anywhere (she says, holding up a red knit jacket). Nobody has it. This is my little corner of the world. Things that only I do. I can make it into a gown if somebody needs it long. I can do it in a black or a brown or a white if somebody needs it.
“My clients are women in business,” Kotovos explains. “Women who travel. They want and wear these kinds of clothes,” she says, referring to the red knit jacket. “They’re great traveling clothes because they don’t wrinkle. I have women who cruise who love taking knits because they’re great looking. It’s the kind of thing that never runs out of style. Then I do a cute little line that is not for everybody. It’s a one-size line. I have some younger women who can wear this (holding up a sheer, wispy dress); a whole line of short sleeves, long sleeves, tank tops.
“My clients tell me, ‘I love coming in because everything is accessorized.’ I just love putting things together. I will say, ‘Tell me about the event. Tell me about the wedding. Is it casual? Okay. Let’s try this, this, and this, and see where we go from here.’ If I work out the outfit, then I’m into accessorizing. ‘Do you have a bag?’ Of course I do, even in my little 100 square feet.”
Doris also spends time as a fashion consultant to women who have lost, or are in the process of losing weight.
“They can be very self-conscious during this time, but still want to be fashionable and attractive. I make sure that their clothing remains appropriate, fits well, and is stylish,” Kotovos says.
This effort is not through an organization or non-profit, it comes from her heart as something she just loves to do for these women.