OPPORTUNITY EVOLVES: ISLAMORADA BOUTIQUE CHANGES OWNERS

There’s a famous saying that luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity. For Lisa Plumadore, the new owner of Islamorada’s Evolve Boutique, a little bit of luck fell into her lap.

“I always wanted to be a business owner and wondered what would be my niche,” she said. “So this was out of the blue and unexpected.”  

The previous owners knew Plumadore as a frequent customer and asked her if she would be interested in purchasing Evolve. Plumadore considered the opportunity with her soon-to-be husband, Danny Raber, and decided to buy it.

“One thing I liked most about this store as a customer is that I was able to shop in Islamorada. I could go shopping and get a whole new outfit for less than $100. I have the same style and vibe as the previous owners, so it was a good fit,” Plumadore said. 

Growing up in Miami and then working at various large retailers, Plumadore moved to the Keys six years ago when she met Raber. 

“We met on the dating app Plenty of Fish and hit it off. So I moved in with Danny, who works for Marlin Fuel, and his son Kaine. Here in the Keys, I worked at a few different places.” 

The couple is excited to get married in Islamorada in April. 

Plumadore and Raber’s daughter, Lorelai, just turned 2 at the end of December and is already turning out to be a top sales associate. Her cheerful disposition says a lot about the positive energy and vibe Plumadore shares at Evolve.

“I want to show Lorelai that you can do things even if it’s unexpected. Sometimes to ‘go for it’ — it’s okay. I hope that when she’s older, she sees that,” she said.

What’s it like at Evolve? “I have worked at a lot of different places and have had a lot of jobs, and this is the happiest I think I have ever been,” Plumadore said. “Being able to talk with people, offer a beverage and be that place where you need a place to sit and chill; you don’t have to spend $100 to be a customer here. That’s the vibe I want to portray.”

Since buying the store and taking over in January, she has noticed she has a good mix of locals and tourists. And with the pricing strategy being accessible to locals, she’s also happy that the tourists think they got a good deal. Plumadore also offers special promotions to add something fun that’s a little different from the other boutiques.

The assortment at Evolve will continue to have new and exciting merchandise. One new line for the boutique is Mora, a popular resort maxi dress line that fits various body types and demographics.

“Our best sellers are dresses and tops. The average price point is $50, and I’m trying not to go much over $100,” Plumadore said. “My goal is to be the kind of store where anyone can find something — appeals to anybody. I just don’t want one type of customer. I want everyone to feel comfortable coming here, and they can always find something. One-sized dresses fit a smaller person to a larger person, and they feel comfortable.”

In addition to the women’s apparel, the store has a locals’ wall that includes vendors such as Kathleen Wright handmade jewelry; Floral Fantasy, which offers floral subscriptions; and Jellyfish Air Plants by Sheri Griffin.

Lisa’s mom, Peggy Plumadore, is also entrepreneurial as she makes local business logos and design magnets and other home décor items such as vases, glassware and art. Purchasing these items helps raise money for Castaways Against Cancer, a nonprofit organization that kayaks from Miami to Key West for cancer awareness.

Evolve also recently started selling an exclusive Purple Pineapple candle from Islamorada Candle Company in two sizes. Plumadore worked one-on-one with the owner, Jessica Ann, to develop the proprietary scent, a mix of lavender, eucalyptus, fresh pineapple and vanilla orchid.

Plumadore is also excited about offering an assortment of white dresses that someone can get married in or wear out to dinner with a cute jean jacket. 

“I ran into this problem when I went to buy a dress for our wedding. I couldn’t find anything that wasn’t too fancy but was fancy enough to say I’m the bride,” she said. “I am hopeful that people think of Evolve first when they want to go shopping. I want people to be happy when they come in here. Be the place people want to be.”

Plumadore said she’s proud that the business is hers and excited to be part of the local business community. 

“I am also excited to contribute and share my fashion vibes with all types of women,” she said. 

Visit Evolve on Instagram @evolve_islamorada and Facebook for new fashion styles and categories. Local residents get a 10% discount,  while teachers get 15%. Evolve is open Monday through Friday from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m.

Melinda Van Fleet is an Intuitive Energy Business & Leadership Mentor and the owner of Good Karma Sportfishing with her husband, Ryan Van Fleet. She is a speaker, bestselling author of "Confidence Mastery for Couples" and "Life & Love Lessons," and the host of the weekly podcast "The Success Codes Podcast." You can connect with her more at www.melindavanfleet.com.