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Fashion boutique opens doors

May 23, 2017
| By Pat Evans |
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Cathy Starnes Iris Boutique
Cathy Starnes poses for a shot outside of her shop, Iris Boutique, in Grand Rapids' East Hills neighborhood. Photo via

A long-time personal stylist has opened a boutique for women's fashion accessories in Grand Rapids.

Cathy Starnes opened Iris Boutique today in a 1,068-square-foot space in the East Hills neighborhood, at 949 Cherry St. SE.

The boutique sells an array of accessories, such as handbags, jewelry and scarves, as well as shoes and hats to help “add that finishing touch to favorite looks and everyday style.”

Starnes began her styling career more than a decade ago for Nordstrom in Washington, D.C., before starting her wardrobe consulting firm, Style Speaks, in 2008.

She has helped more than 200 women manage their wardrobes, but through her consulting, she found retailers often overlook accessories.

“That experience helping so many women in their closets and out shopping is what led me to focus on accessories at Iris Boutique,” Starnes said. “I have found accessories to be the biggest mystery for many women and the aspect of dressing that makes the biggest impact.”

Little was done to the space prior to Starnes moving into the storefront, but she added some shelves into the brickwork and furnished it.

Starnes moved to Grand Rapids less than two years ago with her husband, who’s from Michigan. Hesitant at first, a visit convinced her the community would be great for her shop.

“There’s a unique energy here that’s hard to describe, some of the most genuinely kind people I’ve ever met and a sense of community that I’ve never experienced anywhere else,” Starnes said.

“On my first visit to GR, I zeroed in on Uptown. And on my second visit, I discovered the East Hills neighborhood on Cherry Street, and it stole my heart. I'm thrilled to join the collection of unique local shops and eateries lining this historic street.”

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