Alabama native, Kim Sketo brings her Southern charm and hospitality to the ambience of Altamonte Springs’ Rich Hippie. After moving to Florida five years ago, Sketo fell in love with the store and religiously started coming in with friends. However, she never dreamed that one day she’d actually have the opportunity to take it over until the owner, who had become a friend, was looking for a buyer.
“My heart was at that store. So after she called me to go to lunch and asked if I wanted to purchase it, my eyes lit up,” Sketo says in her sweet southern twang. The purchase became official last fall and she’s been throwing herself into the business ever since.
One of Orlando’s largest locally owned boutiques, Rich Hippie doesn’t feature anything that’s available at department stores or nearby shops. “If there’s another boutique that carries an item, I make sure they are a considerable amount of miles away.” Sketo says. “The last thing we want is for a customer to buy something special and find the same outfit on someone else down the street.” Sketo’s employees, known as her Hippie Chics, cater to a clientele that ranges in ages – with the majority averaging in their 40s.
The merchandise is organized by color and varies in shades and styles. And while there may be an assortment of options for any body type, the one thing that is consistent is that most of the pieces are made in the United States of supple, machine-washable fabrics. “I’m very picky about the material,” says Sketo. “I only want pieces that are very soft and comfortable to wear.”