Liz Schiller Discovers Juniper
Throw a bold splash of color in with an amusing print and a touch of lace, and you just might look as if you’ve discovered Juniper, one of the newest women’s boutiques in Maple Grove. The look is contemporary and eclectic, and Liz Schiller, a Maple Grove mother of two, is responsible for the store’s unique flare.
When you do something really well, it’s a no-brainer to keep doing it. After 15 years in the retail business (her latest gig was working at GAP), Schiller decided it was time to go it alone. “Discussions turned into plans, then plans turned into actions, and here we are,” she explains with an ease that can be deceiving.
Although she’d been a manager at several other stores, there were new challenges to owning her own place – like designing the store and acclimating to the buying process. “Every day I’m presented with new questions or tasks, and every day I learn something new,” Schiller says.
Putting the store together was a group effort. When she wanted displays unlike those found in other boutiques, her husband, Jeremy, came up with a wood and pipe combo design and built all of the jewelry display fixtures. Schiller’s friend added her two cents to a dozen different pink, tan and orange paints, and Schiller’s sister spent many tedious nights tagging thousands of items that populated Schiller’s living room weeks before the store opened.
The vibe inside is creative and draws women looking for something more mature than teen stores, but something just as fun. “We have been compared to Anthropologie without the price tag,” says Schiller. The smaller environment also allows for ample one-on-one attention.
Juniper hosts a variety of local talent too, whose designs are hip and easy to wear. Schiller picks everything by hand and new items arrive every day. She also features handmade designer jewelry that is elegant with a touch of an antique feel along with trendy feather earrings and statement necklaces that will wow.
Schiller says she repeatedly hears the comment “people are going to ask you where you got this!” It’s a compliment she welcomes. “That says we have truly unique pieces that grab people's attention, without being too far one way or the other that they still appeal to the majority of people, and that is really what I set out to do.”
Each morning Schiller walks into a store that she designed, filled with clothes that she picked out and is visited by customers that give enthusiastic feedback. “To see my overall vision of everything come together and come to life—it's really amazing,” she remarks.
Going solo can be immensely satisfying—and stylish. Liz Schiller and Juniper are proof.
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