The woman who owns a lingerie business probably has a husband who appreciates that sort of thing, right? That’s not the case for Elise Kutt, owner and founder of Naughty Bettie, the new European influenced lingerie boutique.
“My husband is one of those guys that couldn’t care less about lingerie, but he’s into it if I’m into it,” says Kutt. “When I come out fierce and ready to go and feeling great then he loves it.”
Her passion and commitment to outfitting women in luxurious intimate apparel is the result of Naughty Bettie’s sister business Mod Bettie, a portrait boutique specializing in boudoir photography. As her clients inquired on where to shop for their shoots, Kutt came up empty-handed.
“There weren’t a lot of great shopping options for women in West Michigan,” said Kutt. “And I didn’t feel what was available was right for my clientele.” Kutt decided to explore the idea of building a shop into her current studio.
With the help of Susan Valva of Studio Vario Interiors, Naughty Bettie offers a clean and warm atmosphere featuring whitewashed walls, wood flooring, chandeliers and gilded mirrors, and golden touches to highlight the exquisite offerings. From rugs to plush chairs to the draperies in the heated dressing rooms, the space is romantic, vintage-inspired and indulgent, culminating in a high-end visual.
But optics are important, right? If you’re a man or woman influenced by the visual world it makes sense to get the scene right—to set that tone. Wearing special nightgowns and lingerie only heightens the mood for a night (or day) filled with passion.
“It’s all about self-love,” said Kutt as she explains trends in styling your lingerie as everyday wear. Wearing a sexy teddy under a blazer or adding a cardigan and pencil skirt to a full-length lace slip is something the average person might not notice but it’s a profound boost of sensual style. “Wearing it under clothing is empowering. I’m told so often by women that their partner isn’t really into lingerie—then wear it for you. It changes everything for your confidence in and out of the bedroom.”
When it comes to the empowering inventory, Naughty Bettie offers bachelorette party gifts, sleepwear, nighties, robes, bras and panties with all-inclusive sizing from XS to 4X size. The shop will also offer bra-fitting services. Popular lingerie lines include the plus-size selections of Gabi Fresh and the retro inspiration of Bettie Page—a tribute to the iconic first pin-up model. “I wanted to carry Bettie Page because there’s a big pin-up community in West Michigan,” said Kutt who mentioned accessories are on hand in the form of body jewelry, cute pasties and novelty handcuffs.
Shopping is by appointment only (with a few pop-up shop collaborations) and the shop will host monthly events around different themes to get women together in the same room. Kutt is hoping another presence in the boutique will be a gathering for #SquadBettie, her online movement on Facebook where women cheer each other on.
“We can celebrate each other in person and cheer each other on while trying new things,” said Kutt, who wants women to have a more supportive and comfortable shopping experience for intimate apparel.
Naughty Bettie is absolutely down for private parties and is ready to celebrate anything from a 40thbirthday party where guests sip champagne and shop lingerie to bachelorette parties that will appreciate the bridal line from Jane Woolrich Design.
“I met Jane at a lingerie expo in New York and we talked about how brides put so much into all the other wedding planning details that utilizing undergarments as a way to build confidence can get overlooked,” said Kutt and for this reason the boutique is stocked with the line’s handmade creations from quality silks and lace. “We carry cute, lace rompers that would make for beautiful images when the bride is getting ready. There’s a gown with a robe for the night of the wedding. It’s the first time all day that it’s just been the two of you, so have something to wear to elevate that moment.”
Timing is everything and as the boutique launches into its opening month, Kutt is overjoyed she’s helping women feel beautiful but acknowledges she had a lot of help from women.
“I had personal stylist Michelle Krick teach me how to buy, price and market things. She helped me launch a retail business in six months—that’s insane to make something like this happen that quickly. Having her come on board was immensely important,” said Kutt who’s had six private appointments this week alone.
“Women want this. I’ve been selling out of boxes before we were even open.”
Naughty Bettie is located at 1111 Godfrey Ave. SW in Grand Rapids. Visit Naughty Bettie for more information or head to Instagram and find them at @naughty_bettie. Starting in January, the boutique is looking to host hours on Fridays and Saturdays.
*Photos courtesy of Mod Bettie Portrait Boutique