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How Divine

Boulder’s New Luxury Boutique, Beatrice the Divine, is a Treasure Trove of Discovery

Article by Linden Butrym

Photography by Poppy & Co. by Kelsey Huffer

Originally published in Boulder Lifestyle

Growing up in Colorado, April Johanna acquired an eye for style by observing her mother, a model, and grandmother, “a true sartorialist,” she says. April recalls poring over her grandmother’s Neiman Marcus catalogs and then stealing some of those very pieces from her closet. “I was just obsessed,” she says. “That has always been in me, this interest in fashion.” Although she received her degree in the healthcare field, April never lost sight of her first love, and frequent travels across the globe only enriched the joy she felt in discovering fabulous, one-of-a-kind pieces. Sensing a void in Boulder’s luxury fashion scene, she felt drawn to open her own shop.

Beatrice the Divine, nestled on Walnut Street around the corner from Pearl Street Mall, is an homage to April’s trips to Italy and her personal aesthetic, which marries elevated classics (think high-quality, tailored garments you can keep in your wardrobe for years) with fun statement pieces. The store name refers to Beatrice, the beautiful and mysterious muse of Italian writer and philosopher Dante Alighieri in his “Divine Comedy” poem. Additional European influences are found in the store’s mid-century design, with Salvador Dalí lithographs lining the walls, a pink Ultrafragola mirror by Italian architect and furniture designer Ettore Sottsass, Mario Bellini Camaleonda sofas, and a credenza custom made in Portugal.

April curated her designer collective based on personal relationships. “It’s really important to me to go in person when I buy, to feel the fabric, to see how something drapes, to look for unique details,” she says. Parisian labels Ines de la Fressange and Manoush, and Italian brands Alysi and Pomandère were among the first she launched with late last year; now, April stocks an array of clothing brands ranging from Japanese designer Tanaka to Denver-based KetiVani to Mozhdeh Matin, an artisanal Peruvian label. You’ll also find jewelry, shoes (Intentionally Blank, Reike Nen, Rejina Pyo), bags (including Maria La Rosa pieces handmade in Italy), candles and colorful, hand-blown glass wares from Australia and Italy.

“I went to Milan to meet with them in their showroom,” April says of Murano glassware designer Stories of Italy, which she sells exclusively in Colorado. “It’s a personal thing — what we have in our closets and our home is personal. I want that energy to translate all the way from the designer to my customer.”

A large part of April’s vision for the store was to create a shopping destination for mothers and daughters, somewhere everyone can discover something special. Cohesion with her offering is also important; however, she admits she can be piece-oriented when she buys. “I’m driven by, ‘Wow, this is a beautiful design. I really want this piece in the store, and I know I can style it this many ways.’”

Understanding her customers is also a priority. April strives to create a personal shopping experience based on what they need, whether it’s sizing assistance, styling advice or to be left alone while they browse. Her team of five, which includes her daughter, is currently working to expand their social media presence and launch e-commerce, which has been in high demand since Beatrice the Divine opened. April travels regularly to New York, Paris, Milan and London for market, on a constant quest to discover new brands she might like to carry. When one season transitions to the next, the store holds warehouse sales that benefit local nonprofits to make room for new inventory. In early September, it was held in collaboration with The New Local, a Pearl Street gallery that champions female artists and fosters community.

Beatrice the Divine exists at the intersection of art and fashion, where locals and visitors alike can find distinctive, thoughtfully designed pieces. Exploring the store calls to mind fashion editor Diana Vreeland’s famous phrase “the eye has to travel” — everywhere you look, there’s a glimpse of something beautiful. “I love looking at fashion through an artist’s lens,” April says. “It’s a form of expression. The joy comes when women find something they feel and look amazing in before going out into the world and creating memories in these pieces.”

To see the latest arrivals and happenings, follow along on Instagram @BeatriceTheDivine. Online shopping coming soon to