A Line Boutique, one of Denver’s premiere women’s boutiques, will be opening its fourth location this winter at the base of The Coloradan. We met with the owner of A Line, Karmen Berentsen, to learn more about her and the mission behind her store. What we uncovered about Karmen, is that she is truly an inspirational, passionate and woman-forward business owner and this shows through every aspect of her daily life.
The Coloradan: How did you first get interested in fashion?
Karmen: Ever since I was a young girl, I’ve always enjoyed playing dress up. It was a way for me to express myself and different clothes allowed me to feel like I could have different personas. But at some point in our lives, we’re told to stop playing and to get serious. But why? I began my career in the tech industry, which was not only male-dominated but also there was a certain expectation of how to look.I remember getting ready to make a large pitch and decided to purchase a new suit for the meeting. It was that suit that reminded me of the power of fashion, how empowered a simple outfit change made me feel. I landed the deal that day, not because of the suit, but because of the confidence it gave me. And it made me realize that this is something that all women should experience. Fashion is so much more than the clothes we put on our backs. It’s a way for us to express ourselves, feel confident, empowered, and invincible. Clothes are simply another tool in the shed and it’s amazing to watch how the right pair of jeans, or the right blazer, or the right pair of shoes can make a woman completely transform.
The Coloradan: You refer to A Line as a hospitality company with inventory, versus just a standard retail store. Can you explain what this means?
Karmen: Our number one goal is to make women feel empowered in their own skin. We want to be the “easy” solution for women’s fashion. This means you can simply walk in, make a purchase, and walk out. Or, this can mean working with one of our full-time expert stylists to help you select an outfit that makes you feel like the best version of you – even if you have no idea what that is when you walk in. We strive to make every interaction a true experience completely based on each individual client. This begins with the intentional design of our open and airy atmosphere, to being warmly greeted by our team members, to being offered a bottle of Fiji water or a glass of champagne while shopping, to having snacks and coloring books readily available for your kids. The concept behind our stores is that you’re walking into someone’s home – it’s comfortable and welcoming. We also provide a slew of additional services including complimentary tailoring, travel packing assistance, in-home styling services, and more. I feel that we create a truly elevated experience for our customers.
The Coloradan: What’s your go-to styling tip?
Karmen: I have two. The first is, it’s all about the third element – an accessory of some kind. When putting together an outfit, wearing a third piece such as a scarf or a vest really ties everything together. My second tip is don’t fear leather pants! They’ve come a long way and it’s perfectly acceptable to wear them any time of day and for any occasion. Personally, I own 11 pairs of leather leggings and they’re comfortable, stylish, and easy to wear. They’re truly a staple piece to any wardrobe. And, you can totally rock them with sneakers. (Writer disclosure: At the time of the interview, Karmen was wearing a great pair of black leather leggings, a white tee, denim jacket, and sneakers. She looked cool, casual, and professional.)