March 29th, 2011
Loop: A Bevy of Shoes, Accessories and Trendy Clothes
It feels a little obvious and unimaginative to write an article for The Loop Scoop about a store called Loop. Ironic even, considering I often refer to our ever-growing online mag as said moniker. Yet, ironic and predictable as it might seem, I ventured into the neighborhood store believing it fated only to be met with further irony – a bevy of shoes in so many of the brands I love. Where had I been the last year and a half since this little Village treasure opened? Did I not live but a mile away? Wasted time. . . especially since I could have been walking back and forth from Loop in style with a little help from shoes by Toms, Dolce Vita, Sam Edelman, Bernardos, Havianas, Seychelles, Jeffrey Campbell and Nicole.
Shoes are the one thing that you can always shop for sans guilt. There’s no stepping on a scale or lamenting that second slice of pie you devoured at a holiday party. Shoes will never ask you if you’ve been to the gym this week, month or this year. Shoes will only add pizzaz, style and confidence to whatever you are wearing, which is why every woman should always have a go-to shoe shop spot. That is precisely what Carrie Schwartzenburg had in mind when she opened her second store on Rice Boulevard in the Village. “I really felt the need for a cool shoe store in Rice Village,” said the 39-year old Houstonian, who inherited her first store, Raspberry Rose, after her mother, Maureen Sweeney, retired from the retail business in 2006. “When I opened Loop in 2009, I wanted my customers at Raspberry Rose to be able to complete their look with the perfect pair of shoes right here in the Village. Now Loop has evolved into it’s own baby with a huge assortment of great-priced trendy clothing. The stores compliment each other but they are different enough to be in separate locations.”
Turns out it’s true. A walk across the Village’s namesake street proves that “The Rose,” which first opened in 1983, and Loop are indeed different animals. The Rose carries brands like Gypsy 05, Michael Stars, JWLA, Johnny Was, Sanctuary, Bailey 44, Joe’s Jeans, VSA and Chan Luu, whereas Loop is more of what Schwartzenburg calls “sweet and sexy;” a place where Lauren Conrad, Nicole Ritchie, or Taylor Swift might shop for their signature classically girlie, casual, cute and boho-chic looks.
“We get a lot of moms and daughters in the store because our prices are right,” says Schwartzenburg of Loop, which caters to clients in the 17 to 50 year old range. “Moms like to pick up a pair of Bernardos and a Big Buddha handbag while their daughters grab a pretty little strapless sundress and a pair of Havianas.” Clothes at Loop are mostly priced under $100 with shoes anywhere from $50 to $250 and handbags staying within the $80 to $100 range so you won’t be breaking the bank when you shop.
“As for Raspberry Rose, I think the look has evolved and changed with the trends,” says Schwartzenburg. “Some folks would say the store has gotten younger since I’ve taken over but I try to help it stay true to it’s vibe – fabulous and very wearable clothing.” And juggling two busy Village boutiques isn’t the only magic trick Schwartzenburg has perfected. “I’ve been in retail my whole life, so I kind of knew how I needed to do things to balance work and family,” says the marathon running mother of two. “I make time for exercise and quickly learned to put up boundaries at work so I can spend quality time with my family. Of course, I have an amazingly supportive husband and wonderful staff at both stores.”
Schwartzenburg, who describes her personal style as chic and casual, has Jennifer Aniston on her fashionista pedestal. “I like that she’s a jeans and t-shirt kinda gal. For me, I like to throw on a sexy top with jeans, high heels, lots of jewelry but not too blingy and I’m out the door.” Sounds like Loop might not only be a place to shop for shoes, clothing and accessories, but maybe even a place to come in and snag a few style pointers! “Loop is definitely a place you want to come to and hang out when you arrive. That’s why I called it Loop – it’s simple and I’m an all out inner-loop girl.” So are we, Carrie. So are we.
Where – West University – 2427 Rice Blvd., 77005 (Google Map)
What – A fashionista’s favorite accessories
Wear – What you come in with won’t be what you leave with.
How Much – Mostly under $100
Hours – Seven days a week…
Web – Twitter; Facebook; Website