Lois Hollingsworth knows what women want, and they want dresses. The owner of ZuZu’s Petals, the beloved boutique on Main Street known for its unique dress selection, sat down with us recently to talk about the LBD, spring trends and how she’s thrived for 25 years.
ZuZu’s Petals is a great RI success story. Tell us about when you opened your first location in Providence, and why you decided to expand into East Greenwich and Barrington.
ZuZu’s opened 25 years ago on Thayer Street in Providence. At that time Thayer was a street of eclectic and independently owned businesses catering to all age groups. Eight years ago a customer and friend told me about this space in East Greenwich. I jumped on it and the rest is history. Barrington came about as we realized more and more that our post-college customers did not want to come to the city to shop. I think our longevity is due to our commitment to finding pieces with a sense of timelessness but with a twist.
Your boutique is known for its great dress selection. How have dresses changed over the years since you’ve been in business?
Dresses are constantly changing. Trends in length and style reflect what is happening on the runway, streets and [in the] world. I really do believe, though, that a great dress does stay with you. There is always room for a new style, color or update in your closet, but one thing I love to hear is when a client comes in and says, “Remember that dress I bought from you several years ago? I still wear it and get so many compliments on it.”
Is the Little Black Dress still a must-have in every woman’s wardrobe?
Yes, it’s still a must have. There is an elegance and simplicity in the LBD. Styles change, trends come and go, but the chic dependability of a great LBD will always remain.
What type of designers do you carry?
We carry several runway designers such as Nicole Miller, Milly and Rebecca Taylor, and we also have others who might not be as well known. We love our domestically made smaller companies such as Jude Connally, Britt Ryan and Mahi Gold for their ease and wearability.
Spring is almost here. What type of trends are you excited about?
We are always excited for spring. As much as we love cashmere sweaters and holiday dresses, the colors and styles of warm weather are restorative. This spring we are seeing beautiful corals, oranges, pinks, blues and mints. We’ll see trends like off-shoulder tops and dresses and peek-a-boo shoulders (we call them cold shoulders), all with interesting details and nice fabrics.
Tell us about the name ZuZu’s Petals.
ZuZu’s Petals comes from a line in It’s a Wonderful Life. At the end of the film as George Bailey wants to be back with his family he reaches in his pocket and pulls the flower his daughter ZuZu gave him earlier when he was so distraught. He exclaims “ZuZu’s Petals” and realizes he is back home to his wonderful life.
165 Main Street, East Greenwich
338 County Road, Barrington