Sassy Styling Since 1997-20 Years of Fun & Fashion With Sheila Christ

Let’s take a trip down memory lane to the year of 1997, who remembers where they were and which fashion trends tickled their fancy? Iconic turning points in the nineties highlight grunge, minimalism and glam. From monochromatic denim on denim, velvet everything, platform shoes and mid-calf boots, nods to rock and metal motifs, leather jackets, tracksuits, slip-like dresses, illusion necklines, mid-length skirts, loafers and slides, wrap-around the mid-riff details, 70’s inspired furry collars, florals, duster coats, animal prints and yes, overalls!

Eclectic patterns and unusual colors paved the way daringly and is still seen today. What’s in and what’s out, always goes full circle and swings back around-leaving us anticipating what is next and where the pendulum might swing! Fashion has always been an unexpected yet thrilling ride and so has our She.la story.

Fashion favorites among our She.la team in 1997

“Deep plum flared velvet pants. I wore them with very high-heeled booties and a black leather motorcycle jacket.”

“A pair of Gap denim cut-off overalls and all I had to do was change the shirt…and voila…different outfit!”

“My lavender top with patchwork florals that matched a floral skirt and of course, always a scrunchie in my high-ponytail!”

“An old pair of men’s Levis 501 jeans cinched in at the waist with a belt…loved them!”

“The cropped jean jacket and large hoop earrings…my 80’s ran into my 90’s!”

“Lots of suits, but in every color, think fun but still business chic with high-heels and a perm!”

From working at Banana Republic and raising kids at home, welcoming a second child and working at Envision Communications, twirling and jumping at the local mall rink, studying at UNO while working as your friendly-voice over the phone, and managing the Omaha Country Club, 1997 marked the year She.la was established.

Why Fashion?

“Early on, my Mom would come home to fashion shows that I would stage in our lower level using her wardrobe. Barb had a very small amount of clothing but it was always the highest quality and extremely fashionable. I recall her purchasing a Bill Blass double-breasted coat that was the shade of crème fraiche and had black signature buttons. I could always find her in a crowd because of her coat!”

“I certainly did not follow a traditional career path into fashion but always knew my heart would never be content until I found a way to live my dream.”

Why Omaha?

“Omaha is brimming with so many interesting people with dynamic ideas. Plus, they are all willing to co-exist and share their resources and talents. I fondly remember returning to Omaha after a very long trip that took me overseas. As the plane started to descend, I was awestruck with the land below us. The harvest season was well underway and the fields resembled a perfectly designed patchwork quilt. The true colors of fall were directly under us. At that moment I realized the true beauty of living in Omaha.”

Significant Fashion Influences

“Yves Saint Laurent and Calvin Klein because of their expertly tailored pant suits, exceptionally strong jackets and timeless aesthetic sensibility.  Calvin Klein designed evening gowns that were slip dresses manufactured in hammered satin. To date, I have not seen another gown that was as spectacular as this. Another personal favorite is Tom Ford. I was in awe of his design direction when he was at the helm of Gucci and have followed him ever sense.”

Mentors

“I have been influenced, schooled, tutored and guided by so many interesting and gifted individuals throughout my life. Of course my parents both played a significant role. My Mom was smart, kind, determined and mighty. My Dad had the “hustle” factor. He was a bit of an opportunity hunter, which exposed me to a great number of business practices. In the end, he supported my “crazy idea” of starting a business. I’m fairly certain he never quite understood the idea of designer clothing but he was proud of our customer relations and personal service. After 20 years it seems fairly profound to acknowledge the passing of both my Mom and Dad. I miss both of them and fondly remember our many adventures.”

While fashion fads may come and go, our love of fashion is forever everlasting and we are always “chasin” fashion as shown in Sheila’s latest adventure up 5 rickety flights of stairs in NY. Enjoy our compilation of memories at our boutique of fun and fashion with our family and forever friends!

Who remembers the original She.la logo below?! prêt-à-porter/”ready-to-wear”

Originally located in Countryside Village, we had 18 beautiful years there. Our favorite UPS guy, Vern!

Chris is always smiling and telling us great stories!

Our very own Sheila Christ, rocking the gingerbread man suit!

Hey Harry! Always a pleasure to have in our boutique!

Former house model, Cathy, at our Countryside Village location.

Around six years ago, we started carrying infant and kid’s apparel and accessories for boys and girls. Inspired by the birth of her son Cameron, Sheila realized selling children’s clothing reached a new age demographic and brought a new atmosphere to the store with shopping for all generations.

Cameron loves his Appaman apparel, especially his suits and bow ties!

As the boutique grew, it was time for a new change as the realization for more space was needed. By chance, while attending memorial service at the nearby Temple Isreal, Sheila stumbled upon the perfect location.

“I looked around and I thought, ‘Oh, my gosh, the light out here is magical.”

Within 36 hours, a deal was struck with Lockwood Development and exciting renovations for a new store began. She.la moved three-and-a-half miles directly west into its new 4,000-plus square-feet location. Working with Eddy Santamaria of Contrivium Design + Urbanism to design the new space, a one level boutique was created to ensure all employees and customers felt connected.

The flexible space includes a kitchenette and a back-room-a unique space for trunk shows and collaborating on special events like photography, art and beauty.

“It’s a space that allows for complete intimacy but you’re able to have a connected event happening.” 

The signature shade of orange is still relevant in the boutique and many features like the lighting elements, major fixtures and the sliding barnyard fitting rooms, were transferred or replicated. New décor including creations by local Hot Shops artisans like fabric art from Kris Khan, show unique color blocking detailing incorporated in polka dots.

“It’s high-style but it has warmth. That was important to me. And it’s an absolutely unbelievable space to work in.”

We’ve been blessed to work with many individuals in the Omaha community, attended benefit events, and recently, met individuals from all across the globe at the FEI World Cup, attended 10 years of emerging designers at Omaha Fashion Week, danced the night away at Joslyn’s GLOW, and attended the grand opening of Juliet in the Old Market. Shopping is more than just the normal experience at She.la and we love being able to connect with empowering women and help find outfits for both work and special occasions and look forward to many more years to come!

Photo Courtesy: Sheila Christ archives, Vogue, Pinterest