Trish Bennett made a serious occupational change when she moved from Maryland to Charlotte in 2013. After a career working with personal property claims for State Farm Insurance, she fulfilled her dream by opening doll. (a boutique). She went from wearing business casual and working in a cubicle to wearing whatever she wants while working in a bright, open space. Bennett describes the store as “laid back, with a West Coast vibe. I want my customers to feel like they are home when they come in.” Bennett lives with her husband, Chad, and three Mexican rescue dogs.
Q. What’s the first piece of clothing you remember choosing yourself?
A. I’ve always been a fan of hats. I go from floppy hats to bucket hats to fedoras to straw hats. It’s easy to not have a bad hair day when you have a hat.
Q. Did your parents affect your style?
A. Absolutely not. My mom was very conservative and where I was from was conservative. I would emulate what I saw going on in L.A. I like to be different.
Q. What does style mean to you?
A. Style means being true to yourself. It’s hard to force myself to wear something that I don’t feel comfortable in. I gravitate toward clothing I can wear all day long, and I can breathe in it. You are the most stylish when you are who you are.
Q. Who’s your favorite dress designer?
A. I have so many. I love Young Fabulous & Broke. They are comfortable jersey dresses. Jen’s Pirate Booty, because they are easy, gauzy, airy pieces. I also love Mara Hoffman.
A. Lauren Moshi because her stuff is one of a kind. She’ll do a print and then she’ll put it on a few pieces of clothing and then she retires that print.
Q. Tell me two staples in your wardrobe.
A. You always need camis and great shoes.
Q. What’s the last thing you bought?
A. A necklace from Turquoise and Tobacco. It’s a braided deerskin, and it’s all handmade in Venice, Calif. It is fringed, and has a resin cow skull, which is hand painted with turquoise on it.
Q. Tell me about your bracelets.
A. These are my Melvin bracelets. When we did our vow renewal in Mexico I wore all Melvin jewelry. I had four necklaces and five bracelets.
Q. Describe a favorite detail.
A. Fringe. I’ve always been obsessed with it. It has that cool vibe. I wear fringed necklaces, shoes, kimonos, handbags.
Q. How do you organize your closet?
A. It’s a disaster. I try to do long sleeves and short sleeves, and then winter and summer, but in the end it all ends up mixed up together. It’s awful.
Q. If you could take a single item from your closet to a desert island, what would it be?
A. My Carrera tortoise shell sunglasses.
Q. If you needed to put together a power outfit what would you wear?
A. The most dressed up I get is a jumpsuit or a simple dress that I can accessorize. A tailored blazer would be one of my key pieces.
Q. Tell me about your purse.
A. It’s by Cleobella, and it’s camel-colored leather with fringe.
Q. What are three out-of-the-ordinary things in it?
A. I have a dog leash, pesos from Mexico and a jewelry travel bag.
Q. What do you look for in earrings?
A. They have to be 14 karat gold due to allergies. For other people I like to find the trendy earrings because they are fun. We just started carrying a local designer, Ellison James, that come in all different color hoops with fringes.
Q. Are there any celebrities whose style you admire?
A. I love Nicole Richie, because her style is laidback, she has that bo-chic vibe and that rocker vibe.
Q. What can you not believe you once wore?
A. Back in the day, there was a baggy phase. Huge oversized baggy sweatshirts. They were ridiculous. I could have fit five of me in one of them.
Q. What wouldn’t you be caught dead wearing?
A. Real fur.
Q. What do you always pack when you travel?
A. Flip-flops. I always take my Obagi cleanser and toner no matter where I’m going.
Q. Where’s your favorite vacation spot?
A. Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. It feels like home. That’s where I will live one day ... It’s very come-as-you-are, which fits my personality.
Q. What’s something you do on vacation?
A. I love to volunteer at animal shelters. There’s one outside of Cancun called Tierra de Animales, and whenever we go to that side of Mexico we go and help any way we can.
Q. Do you collect anything?
A. Apparently it’s dogs.