Holly Smith is the owner and inspiration behind the popular boutique Hollies on the Avenue. She’s been in business for 12 years, offering her expertise on home style and nautical decor to customers looking for a great touch of something stylish for themselves or their homes. We’ve touched base with her to find out about her inspirations and what kind of style tips we can look for in the new year.
Tell me about what led you to open Hollies.
I love to travel. When I visit new places I always look for unique gift shops. I love the diversity in goods one can find from place to place, and the different kinds of fun and eclectic items. One day I thought to myself, there’s nothing like this in Barrington. I’ve always been a creative person and had a passion that I wanted to share by opening my own gift shop, so I thought… why not? And so 12 years ago I opened the doors to my first shop on Maple Avenue, and nine years later moved to my current location. The new location at the Anoka Avenue store has allowed me to showcase even more, much to my customers’ delight. And, the rest as they say is history.
How would you describe your approach to personal style?
There’s a lot of my personal touch that goes into the goods I offer here at the store. While shopping for inventory, I generally buy what I like. I like to look for interesting, unique items. I gravitate towards gifts that you don’t see all over. I also make sure to have offerings at all different price points. We have selections for every occasion, from hostess gifts to wedding and shower gifts, and don’t forget the “just because” gifts – we’ve got it all.
What is your favorite home accessory trend you’ve seen for 2017?
While looking around for new inventory for the new year, I’ve seen a lot of trends coming up that are leaning towards clean, neutral tones with natural, earth elements. Soft, warm tones of sands, browns and woods are very prominent and also lend themselves to keeping a clean look for your home that you can utilize in a variety of ways.
How do you make nautical decor work for winter?
The best way to showcase your nautical decor all year round is to keep the colors neutral. I like to think of it more as a coastal feel than nautical. Nautical often leans towards bold colors whereas a coastal vibe can be achieved with softer accent colors. We like accents in colors like turquoise and coral for the spring and summer, and then shift to more blue, green and brown accents in the fall and winter months. If you focus on keeping the larger elements in the room a neutral tone that goes well with either of these color palettes, it’s easy to switch your accessories in and out with the season to keep the look fresh, while maintaining that breezy, nautical feel all year long.
Hollies on the Avenue
8 Anoka Avenue, Barrington