Who doesn't like a good a road trip - I made my way down to Tucson, Arizona recently and stopped in at Avenue.

I had actually done some prior stalking a few days earlier and immediately fell for the boutique while scoping them online. I could tell right away that this store was legit. When I stepped foot in their brick + mortar, I noticed right away that owner Alexis DeMaio does such an incredible job curating the space in a super creative way. I could easily get a sense for her own personality since it was so obvious throughout the whole shop - that's when you know you're doing things right - when people can feel you in the branding and merchandising.

Alexis has been running her own boutique in Tucson since she was 18 and about 3 years ago she moved into her current space in a historic building that was built in 1939. To have the opportunity to do her own thing at such a young age is pretty cool - she's realistic about everything though. She mentioned that she has definitely learned a lot along the way but in some ways 'ignorance is bliss' in the sense that she maybe would have talked herself out of doing it if she knew some of the hard endeavors that she would encounter. She needed to learn to evolve with the times - creating a website that was able to capture the vibe that her physical storefront gives off. Alexis is super hands on with everything that goes on with Avenue - obviously with the buying and merchandising but she has also taken up photography and shoots all of her lookbooks herself. With all of these talents she's been running her store successfully for about 8 years now.

When I was at Avenue chatting up a storm with Alexis, I learned that she also makes her own jewelry and even creates art pieces that are sold in the store as well. I really love the enlarged prints of her and her fiance's thumbprints - such a cool idea. It then made even more sense as to why I could get a good idea of her personality etc. when visiting the store. Needless to say, if you find yourself in Tucson stop by and say hey to my girl - in the meantime, you can browse the Avenue site.

Lucky for you guys, Alexis and myself are giving away one of her original jewelry designs, so make sure to enter on Instagram. The winner will be announced on Tuesday, October 1st so good luck!

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