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Young Business Owner Brings 'Fashion Forward' Online Boutique to Downtown

Known to online shoppers as iHeart Closet, this new store will open at its Fifth Avenue location on Thursday, Aug. 16.

Young female shoppers will be getting more hip clothing options in downtown San Rafael thanks to local new business owner Lily Guidry.

The 25-year-old recently decided to take her online clothing retail business to a boutique location on Fifth Avenue. The store, called , will offer “fashion forward” and affordable trends and accessories for 16- to 30-year-old women, she said.

“I always had to travel to San Francisco or other areas to get trendy clothes I could afford,” said Guidry, who lives in downtown San Rafael. “Then I thought, there is definitely a need for this kind of a store in San Rafael.”

Guidry first launched the online store iHeartCloset.com in 2009 after attending fashion trade show California Market Center in Los Angeles. After stocking up on several clothing lines, she began to see customers as far as Southern California and Florida logging on to purchase items from her website.

During its early years, iHeart Closet was a part-time job for Guidry, who also worked as a bank teller at a local credit union. While making deposits for customers, she was often complimented on her stylish wardrobe.

“Then I asked myself ‘Do I really want to wake up every morning and not be in love with my job?’” she said.

Since she often received messages from customers asking if she had a boutique location, Guidry decided to make iHeart Closet a full-time commitment.

After deciding to take the new business owner plunge, Guidry fell in love with the 1000 Fifth Ave. location, just across from salon Christiano’s. The location originally housed a specialty shop where passers-by could find knick knacks from around the world. The store remained vacant for several months after the previous owners left in 2011.

The shop is currently enduring a makeover, which includes new shear curtains for the window displays, new dressing rooms and a coat of pink paint for wall accents. The average price for clothes and accessories is around $30 and fashions will include everything from casual dress to an outfit meant for a Vegas vacation, according to Guidry.

The boutique will celebrate its grand opening on Thursday at 6 p.m. where shoppers will get 10 percent off their entire purchase. It joins Liquid Marin as another Fifth Avenue shopping location  for trendy young women.

Until Thursday, Guidry is focusing on pricing all the merchandise and stocking the store.

“I’m a bit nervous about being a new business owner, but I’m trying to keep my mind positive,” she said. “I didn’t want to be left with a ‘what if’ feeling if I never decided to do this.”

Find iHeart Closet on Facebook.

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