Passion For Fashion

A Park Cities mom’s clothing and accessories boutique, Avara, which started in 2018 as an online shop, has grown to include a physical location.

Owner Emily Wickard worked in corporate finance for 20 years, most recently as VP of Financial Planning & Analysis for Las Colinas-based Flowserve, before starting Avara.

“While I loved the people I worked with, I just wasn’t passionate about what I was doing,” Wickard said.

She found her real passion in fashion, and recalled searching ‘how to start an online boutique’ online at her kitchen table, beginning to source products, selling them in a Park Cities Facebook group, and hosting pop-up shops at her home.

Photo: Merissa De Falcis 

She started the website for Avara in 2018 and developed an app in 2019.

While the COVID-19 pandemic caused Avara to pivot to exclusively e-commerce, they opened a physical location in late July. Avara has pop ups from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays at the new location at 4239 W. Lovers Lane.

“Fashion and shopping have always been a passion of mine. I get so excited when I find that special piece I know my Avaraistas will love. For me, it’s all about making a woman feel good -it’s music to my ears when a woman tells me she received ‘so many compliments’ when wearing one of our pieces,” Wickard said. “Most of our customers are between the ages of 35 and 65, usually busy moms who have a lot on their plates. There aren’t a ton of options for women of a certain age to find fun, on trend pieces that are age appropriate AND affordable. We love having a brick and mortar presence where women can come see and try pieces in person.”

Wickard answered a few more questions about Avara:

What are your favorite trends/inspirations for Avara? 

Emily Wickard: I love the idea of mixing high-low when it comes to fashion – spending more money on certain “investment pieces”, but having a wardrobe comprised mostly of affordable pieces that enable you to try out new trends and have fun with fashion without breaking the bank. With most of our pieces priced below $50, we make it easy to do. As for this Fall, I’m loving all the gorgeous midi dresses – perfect to keep you cool, comfortable and chic.

How’d your family come to be in the Park Cities and what’s your favorite thing about the neighborhood?

EW: I grew up in upstate New York and moved to Dallas 20 years ago. Before getting married, I lived in an old duplex on Turtle Creek near Highland Park and fell in love. When I became pregnant with my daughter, we began looking for a house in the Park Cities – I loved the idea of having my kids grow up in a community where they could play with the neighborhood kids that all went to the same school. The Park Cities community is so tight knit and I love the entrepreneurial spirit – so many business owners who support one another.

Rachel Snyder

Rachel Snyder, deputy editor at People Newspapers, joined the staff in 2019, returning to her native Dallas-Fort Worth after starting her career at community newspapers in Oklahoma. One of her stories won first place in its category in the Oklahoma Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest in 2018. She’s a fan of puns and community journalism, not necessarily in that order. You can reach her at rachel.snyder@peoplenewspapers.com

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