Sheryll Elaine Petilos Rincon opened Verlise Boutique at 29 Main Street in the hamlet of Highland two years ago, as a way to manage the considerable stock of handbags and women’s fashions that she was selling exclusively online at the time. Now the brick-and-mortar location provides an outlet for her local customers to come in and try things on. Her shop was recently remodeled, with the location currently featuring a sunny front window and more space for the merchandise.
Regular customers come in for advice on what to wear for special occasions, says Petilos Rincon. Her goal is to provide them the latest trends in fashion at an affordable price. She keeps up with the latest styles through social media and strives to offer her customers those same looks but at a much lower price.
Verlise Boutique specializes in handbags, with a line of the shopowner’s own designs available, produced in her native Philippines. The handbags are priced at just $30-$60 on average, offered in a number of styles from clamshells to classic totes.
A few items for kids or men are carried in the shop, but the focus is on women’s wear. The pricing is extremely competitive, with dresses, for example, priced under $30 for the most part. Petilos Rincon travels extensively, both domestically and abroad, to find her garments. She recently traveled to three areas of the U.K. (including London) to bring back finds and has made business trips to Hong Kong, Dubai and Japan, among other places.
Many of the garments offered are one-offs, so that her customers don’t see themselves coming and going, she says. Every item is carefully chosen by her. A large selection of petite sizes is available and new stock arrives weekly. With her emphasis on trendy fashions, Petilos Rincon is hoping to attract more of a customer base from the high school, she says. Verlise Boutique will be participating in a fundraising trunk show for Highland High School in May; details will be available soon. A resident of Highland herself, with she and her husband raising their son there, she also gets involved with supporting the local community, including becoming a member of the Friends of the Highland Library.
Petilos Rincon had a store in the Philippines at one time, in the province of Leyte, but her business was completely wiped out by the “Super Typhoon” of November 2013 that destroyed 80 percent of the buildings in the area. An experience like that will cause some business owners to call it quits, but Petilos Rincon says it only motivated her to keep going. “I love what I’m doing,” she says. “I listen to what people tell me they want, and am building the business little by little. I really like to help people dress, and feel wonderful in what they wear.”
Next on the horizon, Petilos Rincon plans to add a line of her own clothing designs.
Verlise Boutique is open Mondays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. The shop is closed Sundays.
More information is available by visiting www.verlise.com.