Queen of Hearts, a fashion boutique selling sparkly jewelry, covetable dresses and uniquely perfect gifts first opened its doors in 2006 inside a diminutive 400-square-foot space on Union Street. Four years later, owner Karen Beebe moved the store to 222 Westminster, its current – and much roomier – location. In October of 2010, Karen had the opportunity to take over the space next door at 220 Westminster. “Downtown really needed a shoe store that had affordable price points,” she says. And with that, Modern Love was born.
The two sister stores lived side-by-side for years, separated by an interior wall. “A doorway connected the two shops... From the opening of Modern Love, we questioned whether or not to take the wall down,” Karen explains. The wall in question was finally knocked down in February. “It made sense to do it after years of running back and forth between the two. Queen of Hearts and Modern Love have sort of morphed into one over time – but we still keep each side’s original vision as far as merchandise goes.”
Speaking of merchandise, Karen says that she tries to carry something for everyone both budget- and style-wise. A portion of Modern Love’s inventory is handcrafted; the rest is sourced and handpicked. You’ll find that everything is fun and chic, from denim to pillows to sunglasses. Modern Love offers a gorgeous selection of shoes at all different price points. “We have been known to have statement shoes,” Karen says, “but we also strive for comfort and quality.” Rounding out the selection is bath and body, accessories and hosiery, as well as great hats for both men and women.
Prices begin at $4.50 for undies and span from bargain to splurge. “Frye boots are our most expensive item for sure,” Karen explains. “They’re something you save up for and love forever. They seriously last a lifetime!”
Stop by the stores to see what’s hot for summer. You’ll find over 50 styles of sunglasses that all retail at $14.95 and are UV400. “One of my favorite new dresses is the Marisol Dress from Stop Staring,” Karen says. “It’s not only beautiful but so flattering on the body.” The owner also notes that the following looks are still on trend in footwear this season: delicate sheer socks with heels; square short heels on sandals; and clogs.
Karen, who started sewing at the age of eight and has her own line, admits that on days off you won’t find her looking very fashionable. “I am usually in my garden covered in dirt or with sand from the beach falling out of my shoes,” she says with a laugh. But depending on the occasion, she knows how to dress to impress.
“If I was attending an outdoor garden party sipping prosecco cocktails, you would find me in the Roxanne dress by Coconino, the Kate sling back shoe by Re-Mix, one of our vintage-inspired gemstone necklaces and a pair of Siren sunnies. If I was attending a barbecue with a bonfire, you would find me in a pair of Liberty high-waisted denim pants by Dear Creatures, my Wyatt overlay cowboy boots by Frye and a basic knit tank by Kerisma.”
If you don’t have the cash for a whole new ensemble, you can always add pizzazz to the items you already own with a fabulous piece of jewelry. “We carry a great selection for any budget,” Karen says. “For just $14.95 you can have some gemstone earrings to dress up any outfit – even jeans and a tank.”
So whether you need to glam up for StyleWeek or add some spunk to your basic summer wardrobe, Queen of Hearts and Modern Love is your one-stop shop for looking fantastic.
220-222 Westminster Street