Lulu’s Boutique: Celebrating Art and Fashion
Written by T.E. Cunningham / Photos by Jami Marshall
Mission, Kansas, has enjoyed a revitalization recently, and storefronts like Lulu’s Boutique—a trendy shop owned by local artist Jennifer Bricker-Pugh and her husband Joe—are part of this trend.
Lulu’s Boutique carries gently used current-style designer clothes, handbags, shoes, jewelry and accessories, and also has gift lines for special occasions. This is not an average consignment store, though. It carries high-end merchandise and they are very selective in the curating of the shop.
“We serve a very wide female demographic at Lulu’s, from ages 14 to 80 plus, with trendy items such as Anthropology as well as higher-end items such as Louis Vuitton, Chloe, and Burberry,” says Bricker-Pugh. “We subscribe to a philosophy of supporting all sizes of female beauty and try to make the boutique accessible for women of all ages and sizes. And we like to call our merchandise ‘preloved,’ because it is so well-cared for.”
Tania Haggerty, a customer of Lulu’s Boutique, says that walking into Lulu’s Boutique is like walking into a candy shop. “There are so many unique and amazing items you can’t find in just any store. Whether you’re shopping for clothing, shoes, accessories, jewels or just that little perfect something, she’s got it. Jennifer is so warm and welcoming; she always puts a smile on my face. It’s the perfect one-stop-shop,” says Haggerty.
Bricker-Pugh grew up in Lucas, Kansas, a town of about 350 people, where she attended high school. She went on to earn a studio arts degree at Fort Hays State University, where she met her husband, Joe, her freshman year. She spent many hours during school pursuing her passions of painting and creating art.
In 2006, the couple moved to Kansas City along with their daughter, Evie, and son, Auggie. It was here that Bricker-Pugh discovered Lulu’s Boutique. “When I found out Lulu’s was for sale, I went in on a whim and asked the previous owner about it,” says Bricker-Pugh. “Ultimately I decided I could do both—run this cute little boutique, and have a corner to paint when time allows.”
Other artists also sell handmade items in the store, including jewelers and crafters. “I am always looking to help facilitate artists who do not have a brick-and-mortar shop to help them get out there. We love being that unique venue. And I get to scratch both of my itches—my love of art and my love of fashion,” says Bricker-Pugh.
Bricker-Pugh creates her own abstract expressionist paintings using acrylics and mixed media. “The pieces are vibrant and colorful, with elements of nonrepresentational, as well as forays into the abstract,” she explains.
All of the walls at Lulu’s Boutique which are able to hold art do hold art. Approximately 20 pieces adorn the walls, ranging from small, very affordable pieces starting at 4 by 6 inches and 5 by 7 inches to works as big as 48 by 72 inches. She also sells handmade coasters with her prints on them and handmade and handpainted notecards.
Bricker-Pugh’s love for painting is evident by the fact that she painted a mural of poppies on the entire back wall of the boutique. She even brought her love to the outside of the shop by securing permission from the city last year to paint a mural on the exterior wall—an 8 by 10 foot mural of Lulu’s Boutique’s logo and poppies.
“I loved the idea of bringing art outdoors as they do in the Crossroads, and I feel Mission can benefit from that effort. I think art created for the outdoors brings a vibrancy to the community that nothing else can touch,” she explains. “It is unique, which adds texture and brilliance to the area. I hope my effort on our small mural will help facilitate more outdoor creativity, with the result being that we bring more people to Mission.”
Kia Bondurant, another customer of Lulu’s Boutique, says she loves being able to shop for both art and fashion in the same place. “What I love about Lulu’s is that you know you are buying from an artist who carefully curates the clothing and gifts while painting her vibrant fine art. It’s a treat to the eyes when I stop in to see what’s new in the boutique. I’ve got a place all picked out for my next art piece. And I have lots of Lulu’s packed to wear on vacation.”
Lulu’s Boutique • 6017 Johnson Drive Shawnee, Mission, KS • 913.362.2442 • www.jenniferbricker-pugh.com
www.facebook.com/LulusBoutiqueKC/ • Instagram @lulusboutiquekc
SIMPLYkc Special: 10% off any item in the store during September, including the paintings, when you mention SIMPLYkc.