If you’ve yet to visit this uber-stylish boutique in Plantation Key, you are missing out. Miss Monroe Boutique, owned by the darling couple Liz and Sam Huddleston, is filled with flirty frocks, skirts and blouses, the best cardi’s you simply can’t live without, a great selection of shoes, and the most amazing dainty earrings and statement baubles found without a drive to the mainland. Oh yea, and they just added home wares – think chic throw pillows, drapes, candles, soaps and great gifts. Miss Monroe carries brands that are feminine with a bohemian/hippy vibe, while others are nostalgic of times past. The classic silhouettes are sure to please even the most discerning shopper, especially when you see the price tags – sold for half-off what the brands typically retail. All the lines carried by Miss Monroe come from a well-known lifestyle store with a creative aesthetic and panache for mixing everyday pieces with “wow” pieces.
The owners behind Miss Monroe are equally as chic bringing their tastes and talents into their business. Learn more about Liz, a true Florida Keys fashionista, in my interview below:
As a born and bred conch, how have the Keys influenced your style and ultimately prompted you to study at London College of Fashion?
Growing up in the keys, my style was mainly influenced by the stylish European visitors and the classic preppy look of the snowbirds. Also, my mother is an amazing seamstress and used to indulge my passion for fashion regularly.
During High School, I worked as a hostess at Pierre’s. This gave me the opportunity to get very dressed up several times a week without complaint. I used to model my looks off vintage Hollywood Starlets from different decades.
Fashion magazines have always been a real passion of mine (I read on average 10 per month). While working at Pierre’s, I first came into contact with people working in the Fashion Industry. Photo shoots for different magazines and advertising campaigns would come into town for a few days and I was totally captivated by them. The creative people working on these shoots were very inspiring, particularly the ones from London.
When I graduated High School a few years later, I decided that instead of running straight off to college, I would go to London for a summer to study fashion. That was the best decision of my life. I discovered a passion for photography that summer and the next year I applied, and was accepted, to the BA Fashion Photography course at London College of Fashion.
While I was in college, I did internships at several Fashion magazines and worked as an assistant to fashion photographers and stylists. After graduating, the difficulty I experienced was finding paid work in my field. Unfortunately, fashion photography is a very competitive field and most people want it so badly they are willing to work for free! The real dilemma was how to work in fashion and still make a decent living.
What brought you back to the Keys?
When Sam and I decided to get married, we had to make a decision where we would begin the immigration process needed for an Englishman to marry an American woman. We had been living in London for seven years and were kind of burnt out by city life. We decided to come back to the Keys. At the time, we considered it a temporary move and planned to go back after two years. As a fashion photographer and graphic designer our employment prospects in the Keys were pretty limited. After a yearlong honeymoon filled with endless road trips, happy hours and sunsets, we were ready to get back to work.
I have always had a desire to work for myself and owning a boutique is something I’d been thinking about for years. I spent a few months creating a business plan and researching the need for another boutique in the area. I put together a convincing enough argument to win Sam over and we started work on the shop.
What is your go-to outfit for everyday in the Florida Keys?
I have an amazing collection of dresses, retro ones from the shop, vintage ones from my travels and even a few modern ones. A lot of them could be considered too dressy for an average day in the Florida Keys. To tone them down, I pair them with flip flops or sandals and keep my hair and makeup natural.
What is your favorite stylish hangout in the Keys?
Pierre’s is the only place I go when I’m in the mood for a nice glass of wine. They have a great wine list and I can very happily while away the hours sitting on their porch. If I’m feeling lively, I head to the side bar at Morada Bay. My favorite bartender, Joey, makes a great Mojito which goes perfectly with an order of calamari.
We try to get down to Key West as often as possible. We love drinking at The Porch, where the beer and wine list is extensive. To eat, you can’t beat Blue Heaven for the atmosphere, the yellowtail over linguine is heavenly. The Café, just off Duval Street is equally delicious.
Miss Monroe Boutique is located at MM 88.5 on the bayside in Plantation Key. Their hours are Monday – Saturday 11:00 am-6:00 pm. For more information, go to www.facebook.com/MissMonroeBoutique or call 305.735.4374.
Images courtesy of Sedura Imagery – Specializing in children and family photography. Go to Sedura.com or follow on facebook at Facebook.com/SEDURA for more information.
This article was also featured in the Florida Keys Reporter and Keynoter as a part of my “Conch Style” column that runs bi-weekly in the Friday and Saturday edition. If you have story ideas on style in the Florida Keys, please send me an email at Leah@leahsfabulousfinds.com.