The ‘Dew Crew’ loves all of our stores! We especially love shining a spotlight on sweet boutiques run by owners with a personal passion for intimates & loungewear! Our first feature is A Tropical Affair, a sweet retreat located in the idyllic coastal city of Santa Barbara, California. Santa Barbara is the home of University of California Santa Barbara, a host of beautiful beaches, gorgeous wine country, and a vibrant arts & shopping district just a skip from the beach! Check out what ATA owner Heather Taylor has to say about achieving her dream and what she loves about Honeydew Intimates!
Honeydew: Heather, we’ve read that this store is your dream. Pretty much every girl has a dream they want to achieve! When did you first want your own boutique, and how did you get to where you are now?
Heather: I always loved the idea of having a bikini shop and thought the balance of lingerie would make it a year round success. It wasn’t until I moved to Santa Barbara from Los Angeles in the early 1990’s that I realized there just wasn’t the selection I was looking for there. I thought I couldn’t be the only person looking for something beyond department stores and surf shops - so that is how the concept of A Tropical Affair was first born. I had the idea and then worked very hard on it for a while at a time when I was living in New York working as a wardrobe stylist. Lets just say I made every part of the dream so real that it finally manifested into my dream shop. I would tell anyone wanting to accomplish their dreams to start making list and put one foot in front of the other. Yes, it takes time, but there is no time like the present!
Honeydew: You have an eclectic mix of lingerie, from high-end couture to cute, comfortable, & sexy (Honeydew’s specialty!). In your experience, what have ATA Customers come to expect from Honeydew Intimates?
Heather: Our customers have always loved Honeydew Intimates because they are cheerful, fun, and affordable - a great treat for yourself or for a friend! Honeydew frequently uses soft but stretchy materials, allowing one piece to flatter many different figures. And, since A Tropical Affair is a place where gals and guys come to get a little flirty, Honeydew’s see-through factor and low cuts certainly don’t hurt!
Honeydew: When visiting A Tropical Affair, it feels so light, sunny, and fresh. It’s the perfect mix between beachy cabana & sunny bedroom! I imagine that helps some customers (and their men!) who are leery about buying lingerie. Do you find that your light & airy décor helps customers feel comfortable in your boutique?
Definitely. Because we decorated with a beachy theme - rather than creating an intimate boudoir setting - most men feel very comfortable in our shop. They love to lounge in our “man chairs,” watch the vintage movie playing on the TV built into the counter, and leaf through our pin-up books. We even have a 7’ sailfish named Arturo mounted high on the wall, a real talking point for the fellas. And because we kept the colors so feminine, light pink and pale yellow, women love it here, too. (Ladies often tell us that they wish they could move in.) The sunny decor certainly makes A Tropical Affair a great place to visit on gloomy days, too. In here, it’s summer year round!
Honeydew: What are some of your top-sellers from Honeydew Intimates?
The Camellia bralette & matching tanga (in all their different lace incarnations) have always been a hit with our customers. Girls love the skimpy cut, light support, thin straps, and fun colors. And the classic Fine Mesh cami and tanga set has been one of the most popular gift items for years - we only wish you guys made it in every color of the rainbow!
Honeydew: What is your personal favorite Honeydew Intimates item & why?
I personally adore your classic mesh tanga. They are just so flattering - and the perfect price point, too! They are a great alternative to thongs and invisible under most of my wardrobe. I love to wear all your cheery prints (ice cream cones! unicorns! polka dots!) with a bra in a coordinating solid color. It’s a great way to add a little fun to my outfit - even if nobody knows but me.
Check out Heather’s lovely shop at http://www.atropicalaffair.com/