You’ll recognize Kim Sketo, owner of Rich Hippie boutique in Longwood, as soon as you enter her store. She’s the one smiling and laughing, asking customers about their recent vacation or family event, and helping them choose an ensemble for their next occasion.
After moving to Longwood from Atlanta and frequenting Rich Hippie on a recommendation from a friend, she purchased the store three years ago when the former owner was looking to retire. Kim says she was a hippie chic from the start – that’s what she calls Rich Hippie regulars.
“Once you shop here, you’re an official hippie chic,” Kim says in her sweet Southern accent. “It’s always been a passion of mine to have my own boutique. My husband has always said, ‘Why don’t you have your own boutique?’ because he knows how much I love clothes, shoes, makeup... the big hair.”
Rich Hippie is known for personal service and lots of unique finds in clothing and accessories. The style is eclectic and offers a little sparkle, a lot of fringe, and as Kim says, “trendy, hippie stuff.” Comfortable yet elegant clothing is paired with fashionable, wearable shoes and eye-catching, colorful accessories.
“I carry nothing that the department stores carry,” explains Kim. “Everything of mine is unique. I’m always shopping, shopping, shopping – keeping up with the latest fashions. I’m looking for new things that I know my customers will like.”
The fabrics you’ll find at Rich Hippie are soft and low-maintenance.
“I feel every material before I buy,” says Kim. “I’m all about the comfort and the softness, and all of our items are machine washable.”
Brands like Charlie B, Last Tango, and Vocal speak to the shop’s distinctive style.
Along with the chic offerings, it’s the personal attention that brings customers back to Rich Hippie time and again. Kim and her staff offer the perfect mix of helpful, honest attention without being pushy. The chitchat in the dressing room area is not unlike two friends trying on clothes.
Kim also enjoys serving the community. Proceeds from the Elizabeth Scovil handbags she sells help women who are fighting heart disease (you can read all about that initiative on page 40). Kim hosts charity fashion shows and helps with local food drives, and she offers a Wine Down Wednesday every third Wednesday of the month. At those events, customers can shop at a discount while enjoying wine and hors d’oeuvres. Kim also posts videos on Facebook every Thursday showing the boutique’s newest arrivals.
“I love people; I have so much fun doing this,” says Kim. “It’s not work at all. There’s no way you could call this work because it’s too much fun!”