Get your shopping fix at Pullman’s own Flirt Boutique

KAIA JOHNSON, Evergreen reporter

Flirt is a women’s clothing boutique located in the heart of downtown Pullman. The store is full of the season’s latest fashion trends, mixing classic styles with funky fads.

Flirt’s owner, Mia Peterson, opened her first store in Ellensburg with her daughter Maren 10 years ago. The two opened their second store in Pullman three years later.

The mother-daughter team started the store as a way to make women of all ages feel good about themselves and their clothes.

Pullman store manager Shonisee Hess said the store’s main draw in is the styling aspect of the boutique.

“We want you to leave with a full outfit,” Hess said, “so you can feel good about what you’re buying.”

Flirt employee Julie Ross said the sales associates make weekly lists of items the customers are looking for. Mia Peterson uses the lists as references when purchasing new items.

Mia Peterson is the sole buyer for the boutique, regularly restocking the latest trends. One of the best sources for the trends is a favorite convention for the store owner, MAGIC.

MAGIC, a fashion convention held twice a year in Las Vegas, is known as one of the most comprehensive showcases of new fashion in the country.

Because Pullman is home to WSU, the location is frequented mostly by college-age women.

However, Hess said the top customers seem to be women local to the area, ranging from 40-50 years old. This is most likely because they are able to afford regular repeat visits to the store.

“This is not disposable fashion,” Ross said.

Younger women tend to find one piece at a time, opting for quality, rather than quantity in their wardrobe, Hess said.

Prices for the coveted items are decided before they reach the store doors. In order to ensure profit, the store does adjust the original prices of items slightly, but the adjustment is consistent throughout the store.

Hess said if prices seem high, it is a reflection of the original price, not the store.

Mia Peterson regularly visits the store, but because of this year’s harsh winter weather, it’s been a harder trip from her hometown of Ellensburg.

Maren Peterson, though not formally employed by the store anymore, stops by routinely to help with what the store calls “remerching.” The term refers to the redesign of the store’s merchandise. The goal is to make the space look fresh, new and inviting as new clothes get stocked.

Hess said remerching has been a challenge lately, as the store has both cold weather clothes for purchase, but is also prepping from the coming spring weather.

The combination is proving to make coordinating a clear theme a challenge for store employees.

The boutique receives new pieces daily as Flirt’s best selling items vary from season to season, but some things are always in demand.

Hess said dresses go quickly, as it’s a popular stop for formal and casual functions.

Because Flirt is one of the only fashion boutiques in the area, its inventory in general can go quickly. Hess said sometimes their jewelry can be in and out of the store within a day.

“[Mia Peterson] caters to the student and her mother,” Ross said.

Every year, Flirt holds events for Mom’s Weekend, paying tribute to the store’s beginning. Though this year’s plans have yet to be set in stone, Hess said shoppers can expect to have some fun.

“We want you to be successful,” Hess said, “both in your life and your wardrobe.”