A couple of days after opening her downtown Rehoboth Beach location, Lilla Cavallo owner Carly Hlinko was still feeling the excitement of a good opening weekend.
“I’m doing exactly what I should be doing,” said Hlinko. “Whatever this is; this is what I love.”
Located on the first floor of a 90-year-old beach cottage near the traffic circle on Rehoboth Avenue, Lilla Cavallo is Rehoboth Beach’s newest women’s fashion store.
Without any formal training, Hlinko began the business two years ago as an online blogger, garnering 10,000 followers. Following that success, she started an online clothing boutique, she said.
Opening a brick-and-mortar operation wasn't originally part of the plan, but Hlinko said she went with what her gut was telling her.
“In addition to what’s in the store, I’ve got over 700 items for sale. It’s nice that people can come in and enjoy what’s for sale in person,” said Hlinko, adding that customers can order products online and then pick them up at the store.
Hlinko described her clothing – ranging in price from $50 to $250 and sizes XS to 5XL – as being elegant, fanciful and feminine.
“I’ve handpicked every item in here,” she said. “The goal is to accommodate all women and make them feel incredible.”
Complementing the clothing, Lilla Cavallo has a full line of accessories, including eyewear designed by Hlinko, handbags, hair clips, skin care products, a full line of Julie Vos jewelry and a number of chinoiserie objects.
The name Lilla Cavallo is Italian for lilac horse. It’s a celebration of Hlink’s Italian heritage, her love of the equestrian lifestyle and the color’s femininity, said Hlink.
Starting with a front-to-back sanding and finishing of the hardwood floors, Hlinko said there was a pretty significant renovation job on the inside to bring some of those cottage characteristics back. There were also some understated finishing details added that go well with the structure, said Hlinko, pointing to bricks around support posts, a fresh coat of white paint everywhere, an eye-catching wall of flowers, and gold hooks and outlet covers.
“We want people to come in here and feel comfortable,” said Hlinko.