Olivia & Co. A Personal Touch

By IGOR GURYASHKIN
Staff Writer

Olivia and Tammy Powers.

Olivia and Tammy Powers.

Plenty of shops and owners make a plethora of promises. They promise the best products, service, location or prices. And while some stores claim they’re able to add the most personal of touches, few in the city of Louisville can back it up quite like the boutique Olivia & Co.

With thirty years of working as a personal shopper, Olivia Powers, and her daughter-in-law Tammy, own and operate the large sartorial outpost store on Brownsboro Rd., formerly the location of popular but now defunct Karen Of Course. With an emphasis on loud, colorful and memorable designs, the Powers hope to bring the same level of success as they experienced in their former location near Hurstbourne Ln. before relocating to their current and larger location owing to their success.

“I would have around 100 clients that I would dress,” recalls the elder Powers, as she recalls her three decades of personal shopping experience. “ I would go to New York and my job was to  know exactly what my clients needed, either for their work or play. So I would go to New York and bring everything back.”

In an age when personal shopping can sometimes simply amount to hollow pleasantries thrown in the customers’ direction, the Powers pride themselves on getting to know each and every single patron that walks through their wide glass doors.

“I love this, because there is a real personal touch to what we do,” explains the younger Powers. “We still call our customers if we feel we got something in that they would like. But then of course, there are people who simply walk into the store. When they find something they like, then they’ll become the ones we call up.”

But a personalized intimate service can only take a business so far. If the product is undesirable, customers simply won’t come and spend money. But this is hardly a concern for Olivia and Tammy Powers who personally started visiting New York decades ago, selecting every single item in their line, making sure everything met their exact standards and taste.

“We pick out every single piece personally,” explains Olivia Powers. “We like to touch it, feel it and try it on. We used to go to New York three or four times a year, Tammy and I, we bought every piece ourselves. Then we started going to California and Miami as well as Atlanta. We love traveling anyway, but by doing this we try really hard to get different stuff in because we don’t want people to see themselves and their looks elsewhere – that’s what women want.”

The result then is every single prom gown, dress, blouse and item of jewelry is synonymous with the distinct, colorful and unique taste of Olivia and Tammy Powers.

But aside from the huge array of instantly memorable garments at Olivia and Co.’s emporium there is also a large representation of another talent and passion of Olivia Powers – making jewelry.

“I’ve designed jewelry probably for thirty years,” explains Powers.  “I had quit for awhile because we were opening these stores but then I would keep seeing certain pieces that I loved and would think to myself, ‘You know I can make that,’ and that got me going again.”

Today the store has a large selection of Powers’ designs, resplendent with beads and other flourishes that are very much in keeping with the rest of the Powers’ eye-catching, statement making aesthetic.

“A lot of the pieces are made from glass from Italy, and I’m soon buying some more, so I’ll be able to make more pieces.”

With more time on their hands the Powers would love to open more boutiques centered on their ethos of focusing on getting to know every customer and providing a personal and friendly experience, whether you’re a regular client or a mere first-time visitor.

Or as the younger Powers says, “We’ve retained most of our customers that we have had for 25 years. I think it’s because there is something in the store for just about everybody.”

Olivia & Co. , 4903 Brownsboro Road,   Louisville,  Tel: 502.426.4046