Growing up in France, Catherine Ansel learned to embody the French styling mentality of “quality over quantity.” With a combination of luxury living and little closet space, French women are known for buying less and covet the classic pieces. Using this mentality, Ansel was able to drive her own personal style and start her very own business.
Born and raised in France, Ansel made the move to the United States when she was 22 years old. From New York to New Jersey and then to Texas where she opened her first boutique, it wasn’t until she moved to California that she visited her first luxury resale boutique and fell in love with the idea. Shortly after, Ansel moved to Tampa, Florida and opened Couture USA in 2003 right in Westchase.
Growing up, the mother of two knew she wanted to be an entrepreneur and learned all about owning a business from her own mother. Like any entrepreneur, Ansel had to work long hours but wasn’t afraid to work hard when starting her own business. In 2015, Couture was awarded “One of the fastest growing companies in the U.S.” by Inc 500 award. Even though she started with zero employees and had to do everything on her own, she built the company to where it is today: a beloved spot in Tampa with a growing online presence as well.
Getting Personal with Style
For those who don’t know Ansel, her style is both classic and elegant with attention to flattering the silhouette. She believes that one should dress for confidence and that their outfit should fit their lifestyle while also making them feel good, confident, and attractive. Because of her style philosophy, she prefers to wear fitted and tapered clothing that flatter her shape. Neutrals, black, and white are favorable colors because they endure the seasons, and she loves to find clothes that are interesting with elegant details like funky sleeves or necklines.
Ansel’s first luxury purchase was a Louis Vuitton Damier Ebene Petit Bucket bag, not knowing that this print would become a favorite amongst Louis Vuitton lovers. Since then, her style has evolved to pair with some of her favorite designers such as Chanel and Hermes. Although we can’t take a trip into her closet, Catherine has her favorite staple pieces that she incorporates into her everyday style. Whether it’s an Hermes Constance belt, Chanel Flap bag, or stacking bracelets, she is always ready for a day at Couture.
Catherine’s Advice to First-Time Buyers
When buying your first luxury item, consider making it a handbag or a piece of jewelry. Not only will you be able to wear it and enjoy it as much as possible, but many of these items can also be investment pieces as well. Ansel suggests choosing styles that fit your lifestyle and personal taste, but also stick with a brand that keeps its value such as Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Hermes, David Yurman, and Cartier. By investing in quality, you are assured of its return value if you decide to sell it later on.
Equally important, don’t settle for anything less. Get your dream piece by shopping in a luxury resale boutique that can offer discounted prices to pre-loved luxury items. It is also a wise idea to wait and save for it or place it on layaway. Inquire about our layaway program as we offer this to help you afford your dream luxury purchase.
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