New shop already giving back to community

Marissa Wagner completes a sale with a customer at Urban Posh, the new upscale boutique at 6450 SW Archer Rd.

Karen Voyles/ Correspondent
Published: Wednesday, April 25, 2012 at 6:38 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, April 25, 2012 at 6:38 p.m.

Kristy Belmares has put her international fashion experience to use along Archer Road, and among the first to benefit are the women completing the Displaced Homemakers Program at Santa Fe College.


Urban Posh

6450 SW Archer Rd.

Monday - Noon to 7 p.m.
Tuesday through Saturday - 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Belmares recently opened Urban Posh, an upscale resale and consignment store at 6450 Archer Road. The store is modeled after the boutiques that intrigued Belmares while she was traveling in Italy.

“I was a hairstylist for 17 years (in Gainesville) before I moved to an area near Venice (Italy),” Belmares said. “While I was there, I fell in love with the boutiques and then when I came back to this country, I saw a Goodwill boutique in Texas, and that was the start for me.”

Although Urban Posh is a new business, Belmares has already returned to one of her long-time practices of giving back to women in Gainesville.

While working in a salon, Belmares would provide new hairstyles for women completing the Santa Fe College Homemakers Program.

Since 1988, the program has provided women over the age of 35 with help returning to or entering the job market for the first time.

“They were women who were going out on job interviews, and they wanted to look their best,” Belmares said. “So that is what we are doing here now with clothing.”

Women completing the program receive a voucher for a blouse or other top from Urban Posh that would be suitable to wear to an interview.

“It's one way to give back to the community,” Belmares said. “That's something I want to do with this boutique.”

After her stint in Italy, she returned to Gainesville and found a 1,100-square-foot space she recognized as the perfect space for a store with fashions from Ann Taylor, J. Crew, Banana Republic and others.

She also stocked the boutique with shoes and purses from designers such as Coach, Dooney & Bourke and Vera Bradley.

“I wanted to be able to clothe women in the late 20s and older,” Belmares said.

When Urban Posh opened in March, it was stocked with a mixture of new and gently used clothing, with about half consignment items and about half resale items.

Sizes in the Urban Posh inventory range from 00 to about 16, or extra small to extra large.

And to help customers complete their looks, Belmares has stocked Gator Lady Jewelry along with an assortment of consignment accessories.

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