In Bloomington-Normal, you’ll find large chain stores like Target, Kohl’s, American Eagle, and Dick’s Sporting Goods. While all of these stores can fulfill quick trips and needs for clothing and supplies, more interesting shopping can be done at the many specialty stores in the area.
Winning first place by ISU’s vote, GiGi Bottega, offers contemporary styles to students on a budget. First opened in October 2009, GiGi Bottega strives to bring back the “boutique shopping experience” of the past, according to their website, gigibottega.com.
Coming in at second place was Bedtime Boutique, located in Bloomington, and coming in third was Girl Friday, a spa and boutique also located in Bloomington.
According to Gina Vericella, owner of GiGi, a few factors contribute to the store’s success as a specialty store.
“I think that we carry fashion-forward, wearable clothing, and when I go on my shopping trips, I keep in mind what the ISU students like,” Vericella explained.
“We have a good price point and limited quantity, so not everyone will have the same clothes,” she added.
What shoppers find at GiGi Bottega are uniqie pieces of clothing that not every other girl in town will be wearing, which Vericella mentioned was an attractive part of the store to consumers.
“They can find different styles that aren’t mass-produced. No one else has it in town and it’s fashion-forward and wearable. Thank you to everyone who supports local, independent shopping,” she said.