Kat Llerena’s Aptly Named Stem Shop Reflects Her Love of Everything Flora
Giralda Avenue, as any Gables foodie knows, is eating destination central, with a parade of international restaurants and cafés. It is now also home to women’s retail boutique Stem Shop. Owner Kat Llerena just opened her doors in October, relocating from a small location in South Miami. Already, she seems right at home in the heart of the city, and especially on this acclaimed street.
“I’ve been a resident of Coral Gables for years,” she says. “I moved to the downtown Gables [because] I was fascinated by how everything is within walking distance and how safe it is at all hours of the day and night. I am in love with Giralda.”
Kat is a Cuban immigrant from the city of Cienfuegos. She left Cuba as a child with her family during the1994 raft exodus and eventually landed in Puerto Rico for several years. As a young adult her family moved to Miami where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree from FIU and worked in the entertainment/television industry. Despite successes in the corporate world, she decided to pursue her dream of entrepreneurism by becoming a small business owner. When Covid-19 hit, she’d only been open for a year, but despite that challenge her business survived. With the pandemic waning, and a loyal clientele base in tow, she decided to move her store to the City Beautiful.
Because she is a self-professed plant lady (with flora on full display throughout the store – and gorgeous palm tree wallpaper on one wall), Kat says she “wanted to create an indoor tropical oasis for my clients. I want them to experience a relaxing atmosphere filled with kind and positive energy.” The store’s namesake derives from that love of plant beauty, because “without a stem, flowers can’t bloom. So, we aspire to become the ‘stem’ that helps our customers bloom with confidence and enhance their inner beauty.”
Stem offers a panoply of fashionable, on trend items, carefully curated to give her clients well priced pieces that can’t be found everywhere. She boasts an entire wall of dresses, separates which work with each otherto make outfit options easy, especially when accessorized with her affordable bags and beautiful selection of jewelry. For the holiday season her clients will and color block pants, skirts, and cardigans paired with vegan leather bottoms. Also big for the holiday will be pretty pastels in nude shades. Her clients skew toward the younger side, in their 20s and 30s, but she does have a little something for everyone (even my age!)
Kat has spent countless hours getting her store ready pre-holidays, so please make sure to visit her little oasis soon. I promise she will be waiting with a smile, her genuinely sweet personality, and a bouquet of beautiful scents to draw you in.
102 Giralda Ave