Since opening its doors in February, Chill Boutique has been providing a fresh look for women looking to spruce up their style. Lisa Berry is the managing owner of the lifestyle boutique who, along with her mother, decided to take their passion for fashion to the next level.
“Between the two of us, we really capture the demographic of this town,” Berry said. “We believe we understand what women want in terms of both style and price point.”
The shop is conveniently located at the corner of E. Avenue of the Fountains and E. Palisades Boulevard. The store boasts a variety of merchandise including clothing, home goods, books, candles, bath and body products, shoes and more.
“People also love the fact that our price point is extremely reasonable,” Berry said. “If something is a little pricier, it's because it comes with extremely high quality.”
At Chill Boutique, Berry curates a collection of high-quality fabrics with a constantly evolving mix of colors and brands to fit any style, including body-friendly styles. Inventory changes every day of the week, so there is always a reason to stop in.
Prior to moving to Fountain Hills, Berry ran a successful clothing shop in Indiana for five years. She partnered with local businesses where her curations would be featured in hair salons and yoga studios across town, at one point managing eight locations where her customers could find her clothes.
“I just approached all these folks and was like, ‘listen, let me bring my boutique into your space, I’ll take over the retail, and it will be like a version of my boutique on the go,’” Berry said. She found tremendous success in her community-based business model, until the pandemic hit and non-essential businesses were forced to shut down.
All at once, Berry’s basement became a warehouse of inventory, holding thousands of dollars’ worth of merchandise. Not knowing where to turn, Berry taught herself eCommerce to sell her clothes online.
Once her site was up and running, “It took off like wildfire,” Berry said, who would receive orders and then drive all over town delivering orders by hand to save on shipping costs.
“When it was all done, my husband was like, ‘Can we please never do this again?’” Berry said. After a tough few months of clearing out their basement and an expiring lease looming, Berry and her husband felt compelled to move back West where they first met. With COVID in full swing and no more inventory to sell, the Berry family packed up and moved to Fountain Hills.
Berry’s earliest passion was ballroom dancing, but her degree in European social policy from London School of Economics and Political Science took her into a career in politics. Berry worked for multiple think tanks before receiving a presidential appointment as the executive director of former President George W. Bush’s council on physical fitness.
In this role, Berry traveled the country giving talks about health, physical fitness and combating childhood obesity. Her work took her to Arizona, where she was recruited by another think tank before deciding to become a full-time massage therapist.
“My family was like, ‘Oh my God, she’s having a breakdown,’” Berry said with a laugh. But in reality, she was happy experimenting with her career and trying new ventures. After some time, she decided to refocus on her first love, competitive ballroom dancing. It was on the dancefloor where Berry met her ballroom dance coach, who she eventually married and now shares three children with.
“I have a really good support net,” Berry said, who after moving back to Arizona, was joined by her mother. Berry lives across the street from her brother- and sister-in-law who do the accounting for her business.
Moving back to Arizona, Berry found work in hospitality and retail, but she soon discovered that, “Styling people and clothing is 100% what I was meant to do.”
Berry quit her job in retail management to start the business with her mother, who is part-owner. They decided on the name Chill Boutique because they want to manifest a very laid-back approach to getting dressed.
“It’s all about being relaxed, easy and stress free,” Berry adds. “Our slogan is ‘Easy Style for Cool People.’”
Lately, Berry has been laser-focused on the idea of closet minimizing and creating capsule wardrobes, which is the idea of owning a set of tops, bottoms, dresses, outerwear, shoes and accessories that can be easily mixed and matched to be dressed up, down and everything in between.
It is the reason her YouTube channel is called “Zero Waste Closet,” where Berry posts weekly videos about styling tips, capsule wardrobes, travel capsules and features other local artists and boutiques.
One of her recent collaborations was with Veronique Benoit, a local silversmith who graced Berry’s store with a jewelry popup a few weeks ago. Benoit hosts occasional jewelry-making workshops open to the public for a fee.
“I just want to create a meeting place for women,” Berry added. “In my last store, it was like a social club. I didn’t even try; women just tend to do that.”
Toward the back of her boutique, Berry invites customers to chill in her cozy living room where she hosts styling parties and sip-and-shop soirées after hours.
“I’ve really tried to make the store available for private events,” Barry said. “Any day, any time, after hours – women are welcome to contact me and set up private shopping events for groups or organizations.”
Because of Berry’s desire to create a friendly environment, people now drop by to simply say hello. Many times, Berry has received offers from the community to come work for free, volunteering hours of their personal time to work the register or simply help wherever they’re needed.
“People are so nice,” Berry said. “I feel really connected to the community here…It’s definitely like a growing family.”
Berry’s goal is to become the stylist for the “Today Show,” where she would host a style segment with content similar to the videos she posts on her YouTube channel. With her experience behind the camera, in politics, hospitality, retail and owning her own business, Berry has the energy, knowledge and customer experience to make the most of any career move she makes.
“I’m just glad I had all those other experiences because I feel like now, I can relate to so many different kinds of customers,” she added.