A Q&A with Love Allie Boutique owner Carolyn Strong, 35.
When did you open the store? July 2008.
How did you end up in Federal Hill? I first checked out Mt. Vernon and Hampden. In 2008, I was introduced to Federal Hill. It reminded me of a smaller Georgetown or Adams Morgan.
How did you get into the business? My appeal for vintage grew from my grandmother Allie—for whom the store is name. She had her own personal style—especially on Sunday when she would go to church. Vintage clothing has a uniqueness that fashion designers often replicate.
What were you doing before you opened Love Allie Boutique? Commuting to New York City's Parsons the New School for Design to study fashion until I decided to open my own shop.
What are people’s reactions to your shop? Most people are drawn to the unique merchandise and the interior of the store. Its a French provincial vintage theme with a story of past fashion designers and style icons.
Who has given you the most inspiration throughout your career? The great people of fashion’s including past designers and hip style makers such as Twiggy, Mary Quant, André Courrèges, Josephine Baker, Anne Lowe, and Naomi Simms.
What has been one of the toughest challenges to overcome as a shop owner? Learning to appreciate the challenges and grow. Especially because you want to share so much more in terms of fashion—but it’s hard when things are moving as slow as they are.