When I decided to open a second store, I knew my challenges would increase. But getting the buying right and keeping up with placing orders — and re-orders when things are moving and shaking — has been more than I bargained for. That being said, I really love it. As I have stated before, I am a fashion/retail junkie, since long before I was in the business myself. I love searching for new lines to bring to the stores, and I am proud that our clients have been able to fall in love with the “next thing” before it was the next thing.
My challenge now is balance; sometimes I realize one store might get all the new bag lines because I forget about the other one. Finding the perfect mix is something I work on every day. Take hats and sunglasses, for instance. We have the perfect merger of brands at The Shoe Hive. Hat Attack has been with us since we opened the store and Krewe became a staple a few years back and, well, we can’t keep Rag & Bone hats in stock, especially the packable summer hats we have this year.
But what about the clothing store! I have fallen short. I have dropped the ball and not figured out what works at The Hive in the hat department, or in the sunglasses department.
Well, I am hoping I have changed that this summer. I have found two great new lines to solve all our summer shade needs.
Designed in New York and made in Italy or France, Illesteva is a line that was founded in 2010 by Daniel Silberman. Frustrated with the options for designer eyewear, he wanted to create a line at a fair price point but realized it would be a challenge since only a handful of companies controlled the eyewear industry. So he packed up his bags and went to Italy to source manufacturers directly for his debut collection. He found artisans and manufacturers that had decades of experience. He even named the line after one of the skilled artisans he met, Luigi Esteva, and merged his moniker with his infatuation with Ilsa Lund, the heroine in Casablanca.
I have a little obsession with all lines from Los Angeles, despite that fact that I have not actually ever been there. I even have imaginary friends there. I am confident upon my first trip there I will get drinks with Alli Webb (founder of Drybar), Busy Philipps, Anine Bing, and Hilary Kerr (the founder of Who What Wear).
So when I came across a new hat line that all the famous folks love, Janessa Leaone, I had to write an order.
These hats are all handwoven in the USA from natural toquilla straw grown in Ecuador. Not to get too much more into detail of the process, but it takes a weaver anywhere from eight to 10 hours to make a hat. They are a true Panama straw hat and will last a lifetime if cared for properly. They are lightweight but durable and weather resistant. Due to the handwoven pattern and the natural dye, the colors will transform and change slightly over time so that each hat is one of a kind.
To me, both lines are classic and timeless and a great addition to The Hive. I hope you love them as much as I do. But hey, I am always willing to keep searching.
Heard the buzz? The Shoe Hive & The Hive are a pair of luxury boutiques in Old Town Alexandria. Featuring both big name designers like Rag & Bone and Stuart Weitzman and smaller brands like AGL and L'Agence, our unique selection and impeccable service are what set us apart.
The Shoe Hive The Hive
127 S. Fairfax Street 301 Cameron Street
Alexandria, VA 22314 Alexandria, VA 22314