Featuring ~ à la mode Intimates
Submitted by Patti Hartlove Platt, owner, à la mode Intimates in Annapolis, Maryland
In French, à la mode means “in the fashion,” and I believe every woman should have the opportunity to feel beautiful and stylish in all her fashions. Before launching à la mode, I struggled to find bras that fit, and the few times that I did, they weren’t exactly pretty. So, I set out to find beautiful bras for women of different sizes and to present them in a relaxing, welcoming environment. In fact, our boutique design was inspired by spa-like colors and comforts: rich browns, dark hardwood floors, plush carpeting and beautiful drapes.
Women step inside our doors and discover that fashion and functions are not enemies! I enjoy the opportunity every day to share the styles I have found flattering with our customers. We know that women need some basic bra foundations, but the basics don’t have to be boring. We always keep close tabs on the latest trends in colors, fabrics, fit and even technology, so that we know our styles are always à la mode.
The last 10 years have been filled with so many exciting business developments. Originally, we were located in the historic downtown district of Annapolis, Maryland. We loved the space, but it was a tourist location and we needed to be where locals shop. As the saying goes in retail, it’s all about LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION and we quickly found that to be true. Making the strategic move to the bustling Annapolis Towne Centre has significantly grown our business over the last three years. à la mode is often recognized for our perseverance in the local business community, and I’ve been recognized as “Small Business Person of The Year” by the Annapolis Area SCORE Council.
As anyone in the industry knows, good help is hard to find. My daughter, Sarah Carter, helped me start à la mode over 10 years ago, and now serves as my wonderful rep for many of the brands I sell. My partners and I also knew we needed a younger perspective going forward, especially with social media becoming such an important part of the industry. We were excited to have Rebecca Ulrich-Dodson join our growing business. She makes sure that à la mode stays current, trendy and contemporary and because of her, I can feel comfortable taking a vacation.
I would have to say my greatest honor being the owner of à la mode has been our nomination and selection by Best of Intima Shop Awards, as one of the top five lingerie retailers in all of U.S. and Canada for European Flair. This award was presented by the most respected figures in the lingerie boutique industry—including judges from top brands like Chantelle and Wacoal. It is nice to be not only appreciated by our customers, but also to be honored for our hard work within the lingerie industry.
One message I would like to share with women across the country, “Treat yourself well. If you don’t, who will?” Whether you’re able to visit our boutique in Annapolis, or are shopping with us online, my goal is that you find what you are looking for and have fun while you do it. Also, please join our conversation on Facebook!
à la mode is located at 1910 Towne Centre Blvd # 115, Annapolis, MD 21401