Camella Clements had endless issues with her building when she first opened her boutique Iko Iko (originally known as La Camella) on White Oak Blvd. in the Heights. She pulled the plug when her lease finally expired, selling online while waiting for the perfect space to present itself.
Now Iko Iko is open as a bricks-and-mortar store once again, taking a spot in the revamped shopping center on North Main at the crossroads of Woodlands Heights and the Near Northside. Although the neighborhood isn't currently known for its wealth of boutiques, Clements is betting on the changing demographics of the area, not to mention foot traffic coming from a forthcoming coffee shop across the parking lot and buzzy new restaurant Foreign Correspondents right next door.
Clements made the most of her brick-and-mortar break, hand-dying canvas bags, camisoles and curtains for the dressing rooms using the traditional Japanese shibori technique, not to mention building every rack and piece of furniture in the store (with the help of her brother).
The light-filled storefront is filled with natural touches, from the mini-garden greeting guests in the front windows to the branches repurposed as clothing racks. It's a fitting style for the vibe of Iko Iko, which stocks youthful, laid-back designs, from slouchy basics to crop tops and quirky patterned skinny jeans, most of which are made from ethically sourced organic cotton.
Clements is a devoted practitioner of yoga, and colorful yoga/loungewear has its own display. There are also lots of jewelry and accessories, from simple, locally-made rings to colorful string tassels brought in after a friend's trip to Mysore, India, not to mention the Eastern-and yoga-inspired pendants strung onto strips of leather by Clements herself when the shop isn't busy.
Did we mention there's a swing in the middle of the store? There's a swing. See, who said shopping isn't fun?
Iko Iko is located at 4721 N. Main St., shopikoiko.com, and currently open Tuesdays (12-7) and Saturdays (11-6), with store hours ramping up later in the fall.