Shop BELLE | MODE for a personalized boutique experience like no other


Shannon Lunseth Kotze celebrates 12 successful years in business this year as the owner of high-end women’s clothing and accessories boutique BELLE | MODE. While it may appear that her marketing background is the impetus for the boutique’s success, it is something much simpler that endears Metro Atlanta and nationwide shoppers to BELLE | MODE.

“I love to shop for clothes, and I’m the best gift giver,” Kotze says. “Clothes are a very personal choice, but I’m a great judge of each woman’s particular style preference and try to give her exactly what I know she’ll like and what looks best on her.” That sentiment serves her well as the buyer for BELLE | MODE’s two retail stores in Buckhead and Roswell. She admittedly buys “a lot” of merchandise for the stores. “There’s plenty of inventory to choose from; my customers can always find what they need,” she says. “Even though we have a boutique atmosphere, our large floor plan allows us to carry numerous options and product lines.”

BELLE | MODE carries coveted apparel lines such as Ramy Brook, Nicole Miller, Johnny Was, Zadig & Voltaire, MISA, Equipment, Trina Turk, GoSilk, Hudson, FRAME denim, Joie, Bailey 44, Vince shoes, Hale Bob, Minnie Rose, Repeat Cashmere, White + Warren, Brodie Cashmere, Fifteen Twenty, Finley and Up! pants. Customers flock to the stores to buy the latest Tom Ford sunglasses, as BELLE | MODE is only one of two boutiques in Georgia allowed to carry the brand’s sunglasses. The newest Tom Ford styles are always hot and in stock because Kotze receives priority over big retailers such as Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus.

In addition to Tom Ford’s popular line, Kotze is a fan of Ramy Brook’s designs, as are many Bravo TV celebrities. “It’s a classy but sexy and sophisticated clothing line,” she says. “You often see these dresses worn by The Real Housewives or contestants on The Bachelor.”

Kotze pays close attention to fashion trends to ensure she has a full range of choices in the latest designs. She shops at the apparel and gift markets in Atlanta, New York and Las Vegas and brings her finds back for her customers to discover.

“We carry casual everyday and career clothing—think attire for a nice weekday dinner out—since that is what most of our customers want these days,” Kotze says. “We also have special occasion dresses in a variety of styles in inventory so you won’t see someone in the same dress at a weekend party.”

For spring, she has stocked the stores with must-have apparel in green, pink, turquoise and orange—bright colors perfect for this time of year. For customers who are a little less daring in their color choices, Kotze says navy, white and other neutral options are always in style. “Navy is my spring and summer black, and prints are also big this season—think island vacation,” she says. “You’ll see long denim skirts making a comeback, and cropped bootcut and flared jeans are trending, as is anything with cargo pockets. Cropped jackets are in; they are so stylish paired with fun denim!

“I buy with my customers in mind and what I feel they may want to purchase. I’m not buying for myself, although I incorporate that as well. That’s one of the differences between shopping at the mall’s large retailers and a boutique like BELLE | MODE. Because I know most of my customers personally, especially my regular weekly shoppers, I am able to consider them when buying each season and what I feel they may want.”

Another difference from the mall is BELLE | MODE’s proximity to customers. “I invest my time and money to bring back market finds to make it easier for customers to shop mid- to high-end designer apparel,” Kotze explains. “They don’t have to fight the mall traffic and struggle to find a parking space. They can pull right up and park in front of our stores, where we offer the latest designs and a whole lot more. I’ll even have a glass of wine waiting for them. I always try to make the shopping experience fun.”

There’s a focus on personalized attention at BELLE | MODE. The stores are just 30 minutes apart, and the staff often drives merchandise between them if there is a specific customer need. “We also place special orders with our vendors, so a customer can have the dress she wants in the size she needs even if it is not in our inventory. I’m always happy to special order a size if we don’t have it in our current inventory,” Kotze says.

Sales staff are eager to help style customers, tweaking outfits by adding a chic belt to accentuate the waist, fun jewelry or a leather clutch to seal the deal. “We encourage customers to take advantage of our sales staff’s love of apparel. They serve as a wonderful resource to help a customer find the most flattering style for her body shape. And it’s a completely free service,” Kotze says.

The services don’t end there. BELLE | MODE offers private shopping appointments. It’s a chance for women to grab their girlfriends and enjoy a true boutique-style, one-on-one shopping experience. “We encourage customers to choose the salesperson they’d prefer working with during their appointment and take however much time they need. Private appointments are a popular option for those who have out-of-town guests arriving who’d like a customized shopping experience,” she says. “It’s one perk of shopping and supporting local businesses such as mine.”

Shannon Lunseth Kotze; PHOTO BY HOLGER OBENAUS

Making customers feel unique and appreciated is Kotze’s specialty. “I want customers to leave excited about their purchases and eager to return,” she says. “Since boxes arrive daily, new merchandise is added quickly to the sales floor and online the same afternoon. I love seeing new and repeat customer purchases, from New York to LA, New Jersey, Alabama and even Hawaii. It truly makes my heart skip a beat! I love styling customers and choosing clothes for women to look and feel their best. It makes me so happy to see them excited to show off their new, beautiful clothes. It’s my euphoria!”

Although BELLE | MODE is the winner of several local awards, such as Best Boutique 2024 and Best of Georgia two years in a row, the sales staff doesn’t let that go to their heads. “We have a friendly atmosphere, which extends to our customers,” Kotze explains. “I like to call my sales staff the BELLE | MODE babes. If you shop here, you’re part of the BELLE | MODE family.” *

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