College women now have more options for back-to-school shopping near campus.
Figleaf Boutique, located at 1552 N. High St. in Gateway plaza, opened last week.
The store has moved from The Mall at Tuttle Crossing to south of campus, where it was located for five years.
“I’m very excited to open a store at Ohio State,” said owner Lynne Francisco. “It’s something that I’ve wanted to do for a long time, and I’m just really glad that I found a great location at the Gateway.”
The Columbus location is one of six boutiques, with other locations in Kent and Athens, Ohio; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Lexington, Kentucky and Morgantown, West Virginia — all on or near college campuses.
Figleaf has been around for as long as many of its target customers have been alive. Francisco opened her first store in Athens in 1995. An Ohio University alumna, Francisco said she’s always enjoyed marketing toward college-aged females and keeps their lifestyle in mind when choosing items for the boutique.
“I just really love that market,” she said. “I mean, it’s an exciting time in every girl’s life, I know it was one of my favorite times. I just really think about the college lifestyle, what their needs are, what their special events are.”
Francisco said the store will focus on trendy and affordable items, with the majority of the clothing and accessories priced under $50. She said dresses for special events such as weddings and sorority date parties are the most popular type of item, but the store will also offer more casual wear.
Figleaf joins Pitaya at 1618 N. High St., making it the second clothing boutique in Gateway, which includes area from the plaza to the corner of East Chittenden Avenue and across the street at the corner of West 11th Avenue, south to East Ninth Avenue.
While there is a crossover demographic with both stores aimed at college girls, Figleaf offers options for a wider range of potential shoppers, said Christiana Moffa, property manager of Gateway.
“Figleaf hits the college student and the 20-something young professional even into the GenX female that wants some casual yet very chic and sophisticated options,” she said.
Moffa said she has faith in Francisco’s experience in operating stores near universities to enable her to succeed in the same space left by the departure of Ohio-themed T-shirt and memorabilia store Simply Vague, and hopes to add even more boutique retail to Gateway as the district revitalizes.
Figleaf will be open 11a.m.-7 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and until 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.