Until recently, the man who delivered Laura Vinroot Poole was her current doctor. When pressed further on such a mind boggling fact, Laura simply laughed, “that’s just how we do it in the south.”
They do a lot of things differently in the south, including dress impeccably well. Over the course of our time spent in Charlotte I never saw a woman in leggings who wasn’t actually wearing them for the purpose of sweating.
Part of that probably has to do with the culture, but I suspect another part of that has to do with Laura and the fashion mecca she’s created with Capitol, her luxury clothing boutique located in heart of Charlotte.
After spending an afternoon at Capitol with Laura, “boutique” doesn’t do it justice. It’s a sanctuary. A meeting place. A stomping ground. A jewel box. Much like Laura herself.
Laura found herself back in her hometown of Charlotte when she and her husband, Perry, moved back so he could study architecture.
At just 25 years old Laura opened Capitol because she saw a need. All of her mother’s friends made yearly pilgrimages to New York to go shopping. She felt that shouldn’t be necessary and someone needed to cater to these women in Charlotte.
That someone was Laura.
As Laura explains, “I do the editing for them. That’s my job.” Laura sees upwards of 300 collections a year and buys from “hundreds of them.” And she doesn’t just buy for the women of Charlotte. She buys for a specific Charlotte woman, a customer she knows by name and by style preference.
And clearly the other women of Charlotte agree.
This is seen not just in the success of Capitol (as we mentioned, celebrating it’s 20th anniversary this year) but in the way women flock to Laura.
Whenever a customer saw Laura sitting, eating her lunch on the couch in the middle of Capitol, they would light up. And Laura did the same upon seeing them, not only knowing them by name, but knowing if congratulations were in order due to a recent engagement.
Laura is clearly the mayor at Capitol and rightfully so. She emanates a warmth that both puts you at ease and makes you want to be your best self.
When I pressed Laura about her love of fashion, she diverted, explaining her love of people and relationships is what drives her business forward. Fashion is just the way in which she can forge those relationships.
Laura takes pride in making women feel like the best version of themselves, as well as investing in them, so they are the best version of themselves.
As Laura explains, “women in the south are still not always taught to stand on their own two feet.” While Laura can’t change an entire culture, she can change the women who work for her — who are given their fair share of responsibility, taught to lead, and most importantly, taught to be self-sufficient.
While I was with Laura, she mentioned another recent interview she participated in where they published all of her answers verbatim.
I remarked that would make me so nervous (I say “like” way too often and usually ramble for too long till I get to my point).
Laura said she loved it because it showed her complexity, the entire picture of who she was. A woman who is a huge Grateful Dead fan, a woman whose ideal outfit consists of vintage Levi’s and navy blue cashmere sweaters, a woman who isn’t afraid to talk about the realities of being a woman and a mom, and a woman that when she laughs, she needs to grab your arm for balance because it’s a full-throated-toss-your-head-back kind of laugh.
My kind of laugh. And lady.