Tru Blue Boutique owner Lorinda Kain on fulfilling her lifelong fashion dreams, her favorite spring trends, why she loves Victoria Beckham and more
By Claire Manor
Photography by Sanell Bark
Like many women, Lorinda Kain put her career goals on hold to focus on raising a family. But in 2019 she decided to prioritize her lifelong dream of working in fashion by launching Tru Blue Boutique in St. Clair. SEEN caught up with her to talk about her journey, her effortless style and how she’s bringing an easy-going shopping experience to her hometown.
Tell us a little about yourself and your start in fashion.
I started out way back in high school in a general merchandising program at a local tech center. I couldn’t get into the business program so I turned to general merchandising. From that time on, I have been designing layouts of boutiques and different things. I went to Macomb Community College for fashion merchandising and marketing and finished up at Walsh College where I got a Bachelor of Business Administration in marketing.
What inspired you to start your store?
Back in high school, it was something that was always in my mind. I got tied up with going to college and raising a family, so I [didn’t] really pursue it for quite a long time. I worked at the local school district out of the convenience of raising my family. As my last child graduated I started to look for things to do that were related to my degree. I had trouble getting hired in a marketing position without experience in that field. I had often considered opening my own business, but was a little reluctant out of the fear of the time and energy it would take from my family. However, with tons of support from them, Tru Blue opened in May of 2019.
How would you describe your brand in a few words?
Fresh, good quality, timeless, elevated.
What kinds of styles do you carry?
Our clothing is a carefully chosen collection of pieces with modern styling, yet created for longevity in both quality and design to last season after season. We love versatile pieces that will take a woman from lunch dates to meetings to their kid’s athletic events — and, of course, an occasional night out! Effortless and current brands like Chaser, BB Dakkota, Bishop & Young, Liverpool, Gentle Fawn and Heartloom are some of the brands to discover at Tru Blue.
What’s your current must-have item?
You’ve gotta have some of the season’s pastel tones. A fresh and vibrant color to up your mood and say, “Hello ,world, I’m ready for whatever happens!” These great colors can be found in everything from accessories to clothing and even shoes.
You’re never fully dressed without…
Shoes and a handbag. Currently, I have Joy Susan handbags that are affordable, vegan, and finish an outfit.
What is your favorite trend for 2021?
Midi pleated skirts. They are so versatile, comfortable, and fun! Our chiffon-pleated rust-and-cream midi looks great paired with a bodysuit, denim jacket and a pair of tennis shoes or sandals — or dressed up with a cropped, lightweight sweater and pumps, topped off with a headband or beaded barrette. It can be worn year-round by adding booties and a chunky sweater. Then there are the patch pocket denim skirts. Casual or dressy, you’ll always have an elevated look with an easy-going aesthetic, which I love. Basically, they can be worn any which way you choose, you can’t go wrong. The retro look is fabulous this season.
How would you describe your personal style?
My personal style is airy and a little bit bohemian, yet modern.
What are your favorite words to live by?
Nothing is permanent, change is inevitable, being able to shift your focus and carry on is the best way to live.
Who inspires you in the fashion and business world?
I admire Victoria Beckham, even more so after reading her Harper’s Bazaar article! Her monochromatic designs and classic style are perfect. Being that I live in a primarily rural area, I don’t often get that dressy, but I would love to if the occasion called for it…which is especially rare these days — maybe I’ll just do it anyway! Also, her comments on personal growth are spot on with my attitude toward life and progress: evolve.
What is something that makes your store unique?
I like to support and feature young artists, especially female artists. Some of the artwork in my store is made by a student at the school I worked at named Faith Serio. She is studying at the College for Creative Studies now. I also have some artwork from Kayla Lauer on prints, tees, and koozies. I am really passionate about putting this artwork out there for people to see.
What do you see coming for the future of your store?
Menswear. I have always wanted to include clothing for men, due to the fact that the availability of quality and stylish menswear is minimal. Since I am usually the one shopping for my husband, I thought, “How convenient is it for a woman to shop for herself and also be able to pick up a new pair of jeans or shirt for her partner?” My hope is to have a small section of unisex clothing that expands into menswear. Currently, I carry Liverpool for both women and men, and soon to come is The Normal Brand — classic pieces with extraordinary fabrics that are not too overpriced. We’ll be adding a third brand for both men and women later this year, which I’m very excited about and will be announcing soon!
Tru Blue Boutique
201 North Riverside Avenue Unit Unit C4 North End of Center Building on Courtyard