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Annie Boswell of The Blake brings fashion, gifting and more to Fountain Oaks.

Annie Boswell wore a uniform in her adolescent years and laments how it restricted her creativity and self-expression. “It wasn’t until high school that I had an outlet, dressing freely each day, which led me to be able to dive into fashion and my style,” she says. “The best part of my day was picking out my outfit each night before I went to sleep for the next school day.”

Bitten by the fashion bug, Boswell pursued a major in apparel merchandising and a minor in business from Auburn University. She went on to manage a boutique in Buckhead, and then the pandemic hit. It made sense to open an online retailer. While she had success selling fashion and accessories online, she missed interacting with customers.. “I believe in-person shopping can help my customers reach their full potential and maximize their confidence through dressing,” she says. So in 2021, she opened The Blake in the Fountain Oaks shopping center in Sandy Springs, where she grew up. The name is an homage to her father. “His unwavering support and teachings have shaped my entrepreneurial spirit,” Boswell says.

The location was intentional. “Atlanta is a major city, but we don’t have that many boutiques in Sandy Springs,” Boswell, now a Buckhead resident, says. “As an avid shopper, I noticed there were not many boutiques that offered various price points and styles for different age groups.” She loves being in a center that caters to women with a wide range of businesses in one place, such as Lush nail salon, Pure Barre, Dermani Medspa and Raw Bronzing Studio, to name a few.

When rethinking her concept for The Blake and catering to an upscale Sandy Springs crowd, Boswell knew she wanted to expand upon what she had offered online. In addition to selling contemporary women’s clothing from brands like Stateside, Lilla P, Marc Fisher and Pistola Denim, she has shoes, accessories, giftable products and even a baby room. She also supports local brands such as the best-selling CB Grey’s scarves, Cary Calhoun’s vintage jewelry and Sketchy Betch’s illustrations. “There isn’t anywhere else in the city that offers the variety of lines, prices and product assortment that The Blake carries,” she says.

Boswell savors connecting with clients, whatever they’re looking for. “I love the relationships I have gained with my customers. It’s not about the sale for me; it’s about making a connection. I go out to dinner with my customers; I attend their weddings; I keep up with their personal lives. I think that is really what makes The Blake stand out in our customers’ minds, that we are family- and friend-oriented,” she says. Monthly “sip and shops” allow her to further connect with her regulars, and trunk shows spotlight smaller businesses.

As for spring fashion trends, Boswell’s seeing the color red, platform slip-ons, denim on denim and more structured pieces. “I think we’re slowing down with how flowy everything has been, and we’re going back to having shape,” she says.


PHOTO: Joann Vitelli

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