To understand the answer to this question, we should begin by investigating what the origin of the word is. According to Wikipedia, the word is French. In France, every store is a boutique, because the word simply means store. The origin of that word actually comes from Greece, from the ancient Greek word apotheke, or storehouse. But how did the word come into use in America? Well, in the late 1960’s, there was a fashion explosion in London, England. The mod style took over the country and then spread across Europe. Places like Kings Road and Carnaby Street were known around the world as a place to purchase the highest fashion available. In order to emphasize the fresh styles, a new word came into parlance to refer to these shops. That was boutique.
Over the past few years, this concept has expanded to include a wide variety of stores. Boutiques emphasized that is it is very fashionable to have an extremely unique style. This kind of store specializes in only carrying specific brands and styles, so that the customers can be guaranteed that only a few individuals will be able to purchase these items. Often, these stores are somewhat pricey, which further emphasizes their uniqueness. In order to have a successful small store, it is essential that you have impeccable taste. That is why most small storeowners tend to be extremely knowledgeable about their products and do extensive research to ensure they select the right kind of products.
Clothing is not the only item that is sold in these kinds of stores. For example, wine boutiques have become increasingly popular. In stores like this, individuals who know a lot about wine curate their favorite selections and coordinate them by taste, smell, flavor, region, and type. Often, these locations include areas where customers can taste the wine or even enjoy the wine with snacks.
Basically any item that can be marketed to a small, select group of individuals can be installed into a small, specialized store. Currently, there are locations that sell video games, candy, jewelry, antiques, flowers, and much more. There is even a trend for hotels to be considered boutique. In terms of a hotel, this means that the location has been carefully selected and each room is decorated in a different style. This gives a homey feeling for guests and offers more options. To learn more about what this term means and what the difference between a shop and a boutique is, visit one near you!