Joan “Lilly” Carney, a Carmel resident, will open a new Zionsville boutique in May after moving her business to her home four years ago.
The Lilly’s Wearable Art storefront is set to open May 1 at 110 N. Main St., though Carney said a soft opening might happen earlier. The boutique will be the second she has operated in Zionsville.
In 1992, Carney opened her first store, Lilly’s Boutique, and moved operations to her house four years ago. But because of the COVID-19 pandemic, she said she began to miss interacting with customers on a more frequent basis.
“I said to myself, ‘I’m too social and love doing this too much to do this one day a week,’” Carney said. “I don’t want to see myself in the mirror every time I turn around, saying, ‘What are you doing here?’ So I ended up thinking of opening the store.”
As she did with her first business, Carney plans to find clothes for her boutique by traveling to different nations and selecting individual pieces to sell at her store, but she has not left the country during the pandemic.
“I would go to different countries overseas to search for artisans and to just learn about different cultures,” Carney said.
The boutique will sell items from Africa, Thailand, Scotland and Ireland, among other nations. Carney said the store is “like a story” of her travels around the world.
Carney also carries clothing, jewelry, purses and other items created by local artisans. She also hosts trunk shows, the next of which is scheduled for June 19. The show will benefit the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and will be held at the Nest, an event center in Greenwood. Tickets are available. To purchase tickets, call Carney at 317-733-9061.
“I have a passion to help artisans because they have a very difficult time with their talent earning a living,” Carney said.
Carney’s ultimate goal is to offer timeless pieces that customers can wear long after trends have faded.
“I care about timeless fashion,” she said. “People often say to me today, ‘I’m still getting compliments on the thing I bought from you the first year you were in business.’ And I say, ‘I’m not surprised because my clothes are not trendy. They’re timeless, and they’re artistic and creative.’”