November 27, 2014

Creative Spirit: Tricia Cona

Tricia Cona's Third Street boutique, Femme Fatale, looks less like a store than a fashionista's hip crib. Cona, who owns the store with her sister, Jen, is the one decking out mannequins in feather boas, handcrafting press kits, videotaping invitations to famous designers, and changing her hair color as the mood hits. Cona, who grew up in Naples, knew that she had the creative juice but feared she lacked business basics. Then one day she looked at her levelheaded younger sister and saw the perfect partnership. The two opened the store in 2001. What inspires you? 1950s glamour: circle skirts, tight sweaters, stilettos, full make-up and a fabulous coif.

What makes you happy? When a woman comes in wanting to reinvent herself, no matter if she's 25 or 50.

Most cherished example of great design? A four-strand vintage pearl necklace my dear friend Jennifer McCurry of Jo Jo Designs gave me.

How has Southwest Florida influenced your work? Naples is an entrepreneurial town. That, along with our father's entrepreneurial spirit, inspired us to start Femme Fatale.

Who is your design hero? Betsey Johnson. Her clothes depict the attitude that women should rejoice and embrace their sensuality no matter what their age.