LAUNCH Offers Two Locations of Curated Fashion and Unique Brands
In January 2019, Olympia “Lia” Glynias, owner of The Hill’s boutique LAUNCH Clothing & Accessories, followed her well-honed retail instincts and opened a second location in University City. With the new shop, she expanded her curated selection of local, national and international designers to a wider range of shoppers.
The two locations, which span 2,000 square feet combined, gave Glynias an opportunity to diversify her selection of unique brands. For instance, LAUNCH is one of the exclusive international boutiques that carries Alembika, an Israeli fashion brand. Additionally, shoppers can find knits by Ioanna Kourbella and Matthildur, a brand that Glynias says just arrived in the store from an Icelandic designer who uses Peruvian cotton in her pieces. Most recently, LAUNCH hosted St. Louis-based jewelry designer Amy Firestore Rosen, who is currently being showcased at the store.
The eclectic mix fulfills the company’s mission of sharing joy and passion. Glynias, a fashion industry veteran with an eye for quality fabrics and manufacturing, takes her time when curating LAUNCH’s offerings. “It’s hard to explain how I know what belongs in the store, but I can say I know it when I see it,” she says.
Glynias’ experience includes a stint managing Gap’s flagship store in New York. She also worked as a designer and a private label director for other retailers, traveling to fashion hot spots around the globe, before starting her own company to provide import and design services. In 2015, Glynias relocated back to her hometown of St. Louis and quickly built both a professional network—including Nina Ganci of SKIF International—and a loyal clientele. She opened LAUNCH on The Hill in 2016.
LAUNCH’s expansion into U. City was based on both a gut feeling that the timing was right and on practical factors attuned to customers’ needs. For example, Glynias describes the location on The Hill as “a gem,” but customers have voiced concerns about its limited parking. The new spot, just off Olive Boulevard, definitely addresses that issue.
When she considered where to expand, it didn’t make sense to open a new location along U.S. Highway 40 or Interstate 44 since The Hill location was already accessible from those main arteries. When Glynias saw the building in University City, it seemed like a great opportunity. And shoppers will no doubt agree.
2008 Marconi Ave., The Hill
8100 Olive Blvd., University City
Featured image of LAUNCH’s University City location courtesy of Lia Glynias.