The dynamic mother-daughter duo of Katie Lucia and Denise Lucia is behind Katia. (Photo by Will Hardin)
The storefront of Katia poses off of Westheimer.
The interior of Katia invites customers to relax in style.
St. Tropez, St. Barths, Aspen — these destinations come to mind when you step into Kátia, a boho-chic Houston boutique that specializes in personalized styling. This somewhat under-the-radar, mom-and-daughter-owned shop sells resort-ready clothing designed to be elegant and trendy, but also comfy and ready-to-move.
To find such versatile apparel, owners Denise and Katie Lucia travel and shop all around the world, finding inspiration in the sophisticated streets and serene natural landscapes of Europe.
One of the Lucias’ favorite destinations is St. Barths — the perfect blend between European modernity and rusticity. Accordingly, Kátia carries clothes from Vanita Rosa, another luxurious, family-run boutique based in St. Barths and Paris.
The Lucias also hit several fashion weeks in search of inspiration — and new clothes to bring to their store. They search for what colors and cuts will be in style next season, book appointments with designers to buy their collections and think of what the Houston woman would want.
This approach tends to create loyal customers. This is not a have everything approach. Kátia is a very curated store.
“Everything is so well selected and procured that it makes shopping a really pleasant experience,” says Sheri Bailey, who has shopped at Katia for 17 years. “It’s selected so carefully that you don’t have to look through racks and racks of clothing.
“It instantly makes your experience relaxing and enjoyable. I have stuff in my closet bought from Kátia about 10 years ago and it still looks great because everything is so timeless and classic.”
For the Lucias, it’s about finding the clothes that their clients will wear and feel good about.
Kátia began as a small, woman-owned business in 1986. With only $1,000 in her checking account, Denise Lucia opened the store. In 2005, she reached her goal of building a stable clientele and switched Kátia from a regular store to an appointment-only boutique.
“Any challenges Katie and I face we work them out together as a team, remind ourselves of the positive, and be thankful for what we have accomplished,” Denise Lucia tells PaperCity. “We owe our success to our amazing clients who have encouraged us and allowed us to style them.”
Eventually, Katia will become the domain of Katie Lucia as she takes over from her mother.
“Having my mother in the industry, who has such a strong passion for clothing, trends, fabrications, and fit, led me to acknowledge these traits and start to care about them as well,” Katie Lucia says. “Sharing these interests led us to slowly work together. She sent me on a quick buying trip to LA when I was in college.
“It was a lot more work than I anticipated, but it was exciting, fun and challenging in a creative way.”
Katie Lucia is not the only addition to the Kátia store team. Jagger and Georgio, two brown, bolognese-like dogs with wagging tails and tongues, welcome customers. The dogs are just another distinctive touch of Kátia.
After all, who wants to be just an ordinary store?