After two decades of success in Boca Raton, Kim Bolufe opens a second boutique on Atlantic Avenue in Delray Beach.
At 5 years old, Kim Bolufe knew she would be an entrepreneur. “I wasn’t playing mommy-daddy, nurse-doctor, I was playing business owner,” she says. She remembers collecting magazines and newspapers, and selling them to her siblings for 5 cents each. If they didn’t have the means, she’d drop the price to 2 cents. Bolufe has since graduated from selling second-hand publications to owning two South Florida boutiques—one in Boca Raton at Mizner Park, which opened more than 20 years ago, and another along Atlantic Avenue in Delray Beach, which just opened this winter.
Bolufe’s story is that of the American dream. When she was 4 years old, her parents moved the family from Hong Kong to New York City in the hopes their children would have access to more opportunity. It’s something she never took for granted. At 20 years old, she invested all of her money ($267, as she remembers) in semi-precious stones she used to create jewelry pieces. She then displayed them on a $10 folding table by the train station on 44th Street in Manhattan. “I would sell everything at the table, I would go back, 2 a.m., make more,” she says. This led Bolufe to open kiosks in malls until finally, in 1993, she moved south to open her first eponymously named brick-and-mortar shop in Boca Raton.
Finding Atlantic Avenue
When Bolufe boutique first opened in Mizner Park, the shop was a destination for high-end leather goods. It’s since evolved to a clothing boutique known for its high-end jeans selection, palazzo pants and lightweight button-downs for men. The boutique owner had been eyeing a spot in Delray Beach for nearly three years before signing a lease and opening a second location in December. “Atlantic Avenue is the next big hot spot,” she says.
The Bolufe Experience
Bolufe says she has clients in New York who will fly down to her store just so she will dress them. “You can’t get this experience in a department store,” she says, referring to the attention each customer receives. In addition, the shop also carries lesser-known brands that she forecasts as up-and-coming. Some labels she carries now are Sky, Alex & Trixie and Vertigo. The store even carries some jewelry that Bolufe creates herself—just as she did in the beginning. After a pause to think about her journey, the store owner finds this phrase: “[My parents] came to the U.S. for the exact result of what happened.”
Bolufe, 414 Plaza Real, Boca Raton; 326 E. Atlantic Ave., Delray Beach / 561.266.3371