“Aqua B has always been about making women feel pretty,” Michele Willis said with a smile. Michele is owner (proprietress) and fashionista (a very fashionable person, especially one who works in the fashion industry) par excellence (better than all others) at Aqua B, one of our region’s fastest growing, most fun and trendy women’s—and children’s—clothing and gift boutiques. “I am most proud that our customers keep coming back. They share this place with girlfriends and let us know how much they appreciate our fashions, our style, and our pricing. That makes me feel great everyday.”
Aqua B is the shopping destination to keep at the top of your list when your wardrobe needs a style pick-me-up, or you have a special event coming up where WOW is the word of the day. Add to that equation comfort, affordability, and shopping convenience, and it’s a no-brainer. Women of all ages can find the perfect outfit, accessory, or gift every time they visit.
Aqua B’s always-fresh selections are newly inspired every two months after Michele makes a trip to the Atlanta Apparel Market. “Since most women really want to see and touch the material and get a feel for how it will wear and drape, the Market gives us the chance to select items for their quality, cut, color, and style. Market is a fabulous experience—the fashion shows are awesome.” When I last shopped at Aqua B, the clothes were all soft, high quality, and beautifully designed—very fun, very today.
And, because Michele and her sales and management team have walked the Market time and time again, you can be sure that any item you select and purchase online is made to last with quality fabric that wears well and looks great. They have handpicked items that are essential to everyone’s closet. You can preview and purchase beautiful clothing on the website, shopaquab.com, and from Facebook and Instagram. You’ll find online exclusives, fashion model photos, sales, special events, and news there, too.
I learned about Aqua B’s expansion into Blowing Rock last December, when I was there for holiday shopping—who doesn’t run up to Blowing Rock at Christmas?—and I was delighted to find Michele’s new store open and fabulous. What a wonderful surprise. “We’ve expanded to four stores: the original Hickory store in Union Square, Mooresville’s bustling store at Super Target Shopping Center, the Blowing Rock store near Blowing Rock Ale House, and most recently, our store in downtown Morganton, across from Treat Restaurant,” Michele explained. “For folks in Iredell, Mooresville is a convenient and a fun place for some much-needed retail therapy or a quick in-and-out to pick up a gift or necessary new piece. We have lots of regulars, and new customers come in all the time.”
WHAT’S IN STORE?
“Amanda Trouille has managed the Mooresville store since we opened the doors in 2014,” Michele shared. “She really knows fashion, and she is one of the most friendly, helpful women I know.” Amanda explained what’s happening in the Mooresville store, “Since we have so much in addition to clothes, there’s something for everyone, for every occasion. I’m excited about all that we carry, including several clothing lines that are particularly popular today. Free People is a specialty line of clothing, shoes, intimates, swimwear, and accessories—a trendy bohemian, vintage look in maxi dresses, tops, pants and jeans, and shoes that are fun to wear and look good on women of every lifestyle. Lucky Brand is a fabulous line of sporty, stylish dresses, tops and jeans, jackets, sweaters, and shoes.”
The stores are filled with wonderful outfits and separates to try on—spend a little time to discover the look you’re after. “There’s no age limit to trendy fashion,” Amanda continued. “Our customers are grandmothers, mothers, and daughters. Whatever your age, you can put together a complete outfit for under $150. We carry from sizes 1 to plus sizes, and also little girl’s sizes 7 to 14.” This summer you’ll see lots of kimonos, embroidered tees, and comfort pieces. Maxi dresses, jumpsuits, oversized tops, and destructed denim are top sellers right now. You will find all these trendy pieces, and more, at Aqua B.
It wouldn’t be North Carolina if Aqua B didn’t carry Simply Southern. This hugely desirable assortment of whimsical graphic tees and fun stuff is perfect for summer days creating your own unique look. Amanda showed me the Simply Southern collection on display. “I think we have the largest selection—over 60 styles—of Simply Southern items around,” she told me. “Tees and socks, of course, plus back packs, umbrellas, phone cases, fun lanyards for people who want to make a statement with their ID at work, koozies, key chains, croakies and sunglass retainers, are best sellers.” Tees start at just $16.99 or two for $30.
Fashion accessories can be the most fun item to shop for. After all, size isn’t an issue, the price is always right, and there’s so much to choose from!
Jewelry is one accessory we can’t live without, and you will be delighted at the wonderful finds in the boutique. “Erimish bracelets are amazing,” Michele told me, “with names like Tahiti, Icing, Deep Sea, Mermaid, and Summer Vibes, what’s not to love? Oh, and did I mention we carry kids and adult Erimish?” These mix-and-match bracelets are priced to sell and cherish. Pura Vida jewelry has a free-spirit style that goes casual and dressy alike. Dainty bangles with a poetic message will charm your heart…so simple and sweet. Necklaces and earrings, even monogrammed pendants and earrings, in all finishes and materials from stone, gold, silver, leather, twine, and everything in between. Jewelry wraps up your look everyday.
Ball caps with a message are here! “We have personalized caps that ID you in a fun way,” Amanda explained. “Wear yours—are you 704? 828? LKN?” Backpacks, crossbodies, and wristlets are a must. Aqua B’s unique selection of bags make a statement and coordinate with any outfit.
Amanda smiled as she showed me around. “Everyday, and with everyone who comes in, I get to play dress-up. I love helping women find new clothes that they might not otherwise take off the rack. Thinking beyond my own personal likes to suggest the perfect something for a customer’s unique, perfectly-her-own sense of comfort and style is one of the best parts of my job. There’s so much to choose from! And everyone walks out happy, looking amazing!”
Making women feel pretty is important, just as Michele says, but making women feel comfortable, welcome, and well-served is critical. Michele is passionate about customer service. She goes out of her way to make sure your shopping experience is fun and fruitful. “I think women shop here for our friendly, knowledgeable service. Our staff treat shoppers the way they would like to be treated themselves—no high pressure—simply helpful, friendly assistance…always with a smile.”