Around Town

Around Town: Shi Shi, Partners and Vertical Barre making moves

by Leslie Turk

Trendy Shi Shi is heading to the Ranch, longtime retail institution Partners‘ Ltd. is relocating to Parc Lafayette, and ariel artist haven Vertical Barre is moving downtown.

Photo by Amanda Bedgood

Photo by Amanda Bedgood

After nearly four decades on Arnould Boulevard,
Partners‘ is moving.

Partners‘ new location is under construction
in Parc Lafayette.

Lots of change is coming to the local retail landscape: Trendy Shi Shi is heading to the Ranch, longtime institution Partners‘ Ltd. is relocating to Parc Lafayette, and ariel artist haven Vertical Barre is moving downtown.

Shi Shi, located for nine years next to Zea on Doucet Road, is moving to a new building on Camellia Boulevard with twice the amount of space - 2,500 square feet - and the promise of additional brands and sizes.

"We wanted a bigger location, and we will carry more brands and we‘re expanding to carry bigger sizes - 0 to 16," says owner Chantal Harkrider.
Harkrider says while her store has long been catering to college-age girls (and plans to continue attracting this shopper), she is looking to include those same customers as they enter the next stage of life - motherhood.

The store will be housed in a mixed-use building on Camellia and Woods Crossing with apartments above the first floor shop.

Partners‘ Ltd., which has been on Arnould Boulevard for 37 years, is constructing a new location in Parc Lafayette.

"We‘ve just been waiting for the right opportunity, and we were able to buy a spot in that area that everything is headed toward. It‘s our clientele‘s area," says manager Nick Usie.

The new building designed by Partners‘ owners will be located in the park area of Parc Lafayette, and while it‘s about the same size - 7,000 square feet - it has a much larger sales floor with less office space.

"The new location - we are buying a few younger trendy, but not too trendy, brands and a younger clientele on both sides [men and women]," Usie says.

Partners‘ Ltd. hopes to open at the new spot by year‘s end, but it could be early 2015.

Vertical Barre will relocate downtown after more than two years next to Red‘s. The owner, Lacy Lopez, says she needs more space to accommodate new offerings she is bringing to Lafayette soon - like an acrobatic workshop. The business she labels as related to the ariel arts or pole fitness is the brainchild of a business-minded woman trained in ballet and raised in a dance studio who attended a pole dancing class years ago. She says there‘s much misconception about what the business is, which presented a problem when looking for a new location. She says it worked out that a space at 215 Garfield St. downtown opened up.

Also in Parc Lafayette, Sky Blue Clothing Studio maybe for sale. Owner Larie Barnett says it‘s something she is considering. The lover of vintage clothing says a sale would be for the option of relocating her family. Her husband owns a business in Colorado.

"We are taking it a day at a time," she says. "No place has as many great local boutiques, and I‘m happy for Sky Blue to be a part of it."
Barnett has always loved vintage and says it will take a very special person to come in and keep Sky Blue a part of this local family of boutiques in order for her to sell.

"I‘m not going anywhere," she adds, "just putting out some feelers and the reason is my family life."