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Playing Dress Up

Playing Dress Up

photo: Deborah Celecia Wagoner

A Buckhead resident opens a one-stop-shop boutique for women.

photo: Deborah Celecia Wagoner
photo: Deborah Celecia Wagoner

When Elizabeth Huber opened her Peachtree Battle store, Monkee’s, in March, it wasn’t the next step in a career in fashion. Instead, the longtime stay-at-home mom’s professional background included national sales for Hewlett Packard Papers, Georgia- Pacific and Champion International.

Huber, whose family has a mountain house near Winston-Salem, North Carolina, has shopped at the Monkee’s there for many years. “My children, my mom and I can always find something on the same shopping trip. I am not normally a shopper, and it is always an enjoyable experience,” Huber says of the signature ample seating areas, range of styles and friendly staff.

Before the pandemic hit, she decided the time was right in her life to start something new and thought of Monkee’s, which has been a corporate franchise based out of Winston-Salem since 1995. Founder Dee Dee Shaw affectionately named the store after the phrase her mother called her four children, her “bunch of monkeys.”

Monkee’s Buckhead is a 2,050- square-foot space filled with upscale shoes, clothing and accessories by designers such as LA PLAGE, LaRoque, Anna Cate Collection, CK Bradley, Emily McCarthy and more.

“The store has been very well received,” Huber says. “My husband and I have joked that it’s retail. It’s not surgery. If we have fun with it, we can’t make a mistake. If I select items I love, other people will love them, too.”

Why did you choose Buckhead for your location?

A huge reason is because I live here, and with Atlanta traffic, that made it the most attractive. Having lived in the area since 1989, my friend network is here. I am involved in a lot of different activities within the area. For instance, my daughters go to Holy Innocents and have played competitive soccer for most of their lives, and I was able to tell all of the moms about the store.

What makes Monkee’s different from other boutiques?

The friendly atmosphere and the broad range of products, making it one-stop shopping for women. We have a lot of ladies coming in at the last minute now that weddings are getting rescheduled saying, “I need shoes, a dress and earrings, like now!” They can find everything here.

What are the hottest items for fall women’s fashion?

Bright colors, flowy items and a move away from athleisure. People have been unable to go to cocktail parties, and now that they are going back to events, they are throwing black and gray to the wind and gravitating toward the bright and cheery, even into the fall. Layering is another big trend, as well as less formal workwear. For example, a dress with a jean jacket and tennis shoe. Accessory trends including fun earrings and headbands will continue to be hot. We’re also seeing recycled fashion products, such as shoes and purses, trending. We carry Lemon Jelly, vegan shoes made with recycled plastics and sugarcane.

What’s your signature style?

Interestingly, my friends would have said Nike shorts and a pullover before. But now I’m into the flowy dress trend and layering. The most important thing is not to take yourself too seriously when dressing. Wear what you’re comfortable in.

What are your girls picking up in-store?

My 12-year-old is into smock skirts and tennis shoes, and my 18-year-old, who is tall, gravitates toward longer dresses and chunky heels. It is dangerously fun for them for Mom to have a boutique!

Any fashion advice for customers?

Take a chance and try something new. We have a lot of ladies who come in and say, “I don’t look good in that.” But if we pull a few things and get them to try them on, they might end up [changing their minds.]

2353 Peachtree Road N.E.
Atlanta 30305

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