Store manager Sharon Carpenter says she’s dazzled by the response to the new L’Occitane boutique at the Mall at University Town Center. “Customers tell us how happy they are they no longer have to drive to Tampa for our products,” she says.
Devotees of the Provence-based natural ingredients brand, which ranges from skin care lines to home fragrances, can buy L’Occitane potions online. But personalized attention and the educational experience in-store are a big drawing card, Carpenter says. “We analyze the hydration of the skin to recommend the right moisturizing routine. Staff members will also walk customers through the store and explain the features of two of their own personal favorite products.”
Carpenter previously managed a L’Occitane boutique in Fort Lauderdale’s Galleria and was promoted to the highest-volume store in America at the Aventura Mall in Miami, but says she was ready for a lifestyle change. “My fiancé and I came to check out Sarasota as soon as I heard rumblings that we were opening at UTC. We fell in love with the lifestyle, so I campaigned for the job and was told, ‘If you want it, it’s yours.’”
Inside the Look
What’s your skin care regimen? “I use the Divine line. It’s my ritual. I use Divine Cream, Divine Eyes and we just came out with Divine essential oil. I am obsessed with this oil; you can use it day and night. It’s so light, which is great in Florida.”
What this town needs: “We’re building a home in Bradenton, and we could use a high-quality store for stylish transitional furniture in the Lakewood Ranch/Bradenton area. There were many more options on the east coast of Florida.”
Can’t live without: “My fiancé. Between the move to Lakewood Ranch, opening this new store, and now building a house, I would never have been able to do all this if he weren’t so supportive—and willing to pack up and start a new life here.”
This article appears in the January 2015 issue of Sarasota Magazine. Click here to subscribe. >>