Terrilynn Amos stands in front of her tiny Gordon Square boutique in head-to-toe black, wearing a short leather jacket over a Voxx sheath dress with two-dimensional netting side panels and a beige underlay. "I'm a walking billboard for this place," she jokes.
Before she opened Turnstyle Boutique at its original location in Lakewood in 2004, Amos was frustrated with finding clothes at the mall, then going out and seeing several other women wearing the same style.
"So I'd go to a boutique, but the jeans were $150 and the top was $90," she says. "I don't think you have to spend an arm and a leg to be different."
Amos set out to open her own store that offered those same high-quality designs, but at a lower price. For example, she sells denim from G-Star for $120 or less. The jeans usually retail for closer to $200.
"It's my decision to sell them for less," she says. "I could raise the prices, but I want everyday people to be able to wear great clothing."
Amos settled into her Gordon Square space in 2011, and continues to sell transitional pieces such as Yoki Collection's high-fashion asymmetrical zippered black jacket ($56) and Flying Tomato's flirty babydoll dress ($58) in pale beige with fuchsia lace accents and vibrant turquoise edging on the collar.
Maximizing every inch of the small space with creative displays and arrangements, Amos gives accessories equal billing. Scarves hang stylishly on the exposed brick wall. Nicole McGee's upcycled necklaces ($30-$40) and flower pins ($10-$15) are draped on jewelry stands, while Platinum J's earthy perfumes by Lakewood's Jacqueline Clemens ($20 for roll-ons) waft throughout the store.
While many of the accessories are mainstays, the clothes constantly change depending on what inspires Amos and her store manager, Mickey Munroe.
"We go after staple pieces with innovation," says Munroe. "We want you to be able to wear your dress to work with a little jacket and then take the jacket off when you go out."
When You Go
6505 Detroit Ave., Cleveland, 216-226-3266, turnstyle-boutique.com
Project Runway alumna Valerie Mayen is reopening her expanded Yellowcake store this month by adding a men's line to the already delectable women's and children's designs. 6500 Detroit Ave., 216-236-4073, yellowcakeshop.com