Starr Donati & Carolyn Walker
Tell us a little about yourself.
Carolyn – I’ve been here in Lincoln Center now for 55 years watching many changes and transitions through the decades. My husband’s dental practice was here too, so you can say this really has been my home away from home for the majority of my life. I feel the center has never had so much to offer to so many in our community than it does today. What I am proud of still remains and sets us apart from all other centers, is the personal service all our businesses still have to offer.
Starr – I’ve been running around this center since I was six years old, remembering while attending Lincoln Elementary waving to my mom during the Halloween parade that we still enjoy watching today. My first job was right here working for Kenny and Iona Hepper at age 15, never imagining that I’d return after graduating from college to work alongside my mom.
How long have you owned and operated Flair Boutique?
Carolyn – I worked for the Heppers, the original owners of the Village Flair, for 16 years and started a small clothing section. When they retired my husband, Lyle, and I purchased the clothing boutique renaming it Flair Boutique which would remain to be ours together for 27 years. Their daughter, Judy, who recently passed away, took over and renamed the gift section Flair Gifts and Accessories. We truly miss our dear Flair friends and the beautiful gift store that was a such a treasure here in Lincoln Center for so long.
Starr – I had been working and managing the store for Mom for 26 years and after we lost Lyle, we started a transition of ownership. 12 years later, here we are and with the help of my husband Joe, we have a beautifully remodeled store. Although Mom works for me now, we still consider ourselves a team!
How long have you worked together? What is it like?
Starr – We have technically been here together for 38 years now. And some said it would never happen! We think so much alike it truly has been easy to work alongside each other, keeping it professional at the store and buying at markets together as well. With my husband traveling for his work, and children and a grandchild out of state, I feel it’s such a blessing to still have my mother and be able to share everything that we do.
Is there a must-have item for the season?
Starr – I feel a must have item for the season is a comfortable go to bottom – a favorite legging or a jean with a touch of glitz, a track stripe or a fun pattern.
Carolyn – At this time of year outerwear is so important so a must have should be a puffer vest or jacket, or something fur-trimmed. Even the most special items can and should fit into our comfortable, casual lifestyles.
What is your most prized clothing item you own?
Starr – I just haven’t been able to get rid of a black rabbit fur and knit poncho from decades ago. It still looks new and works casual or dressy and still is a cuddle up favorite of mine.
Carolyn – Probably for me would be an Elie Tahari long black fur-trimmed cardigan sweater. I love my sweaters.
Any advice for those on the hunt for the perfect holiday outfit?
Starr and Carolyn – Our advice for those on the hunt of course would be to visit us here! We can help you find what’s perfect for you and your lifestyle and we have so much to choose from, even if it’s just a new top to change up a favorite item in your closet.
Is there a family tradition you two do in the store during Christmas time?
Starr and Carolyn – We love to serve our home baked cookies that start coming out at the Christmas Faire then continue throughout the season in the store. What we also love to do is share in hosting a holiday dinner and celebration with our girls that work for us and their husbands. We couldn’t do what we do without all of their expertise and support throughout the year.