Written By: Genesis Gonzalez
Photographed By: Curtis Kim
Expert Name: Amy Berman
Credentials: Owner, Amy Rae Boutique
Amy Rae Boutique is making a name for itself as the beautiful and always stylish boutique in the heart of downtown San Diego. Owner, Amy Berman, is all about great style, top designers, chic handbags and the perfect shoes for just about everything! Berman and her staff welcome all fashion enthusiasts, as this picture perfect boutique, adorned in pink walls with an amazing chandelier, offers the staple pieces we all need for every season. Whether you are going out for a night on the town, hanging at the beach, or just ready to update your wardrobe, Amy Rae Boutique will have all the fashionable, trendsetting and classic staples. Every piece, from clothing to jewelry, is hand selected by Berman and is always in style! From knits to blouses, jeans to dresses, the possibilities to mix and match are endless.
For Berman, it has long been a passion to open a boutique of her own one day. Both a fashion enthusiast and business savvy professional, Berman knows how to provide a unique and wonderful shopping experience for all her customers. With great style recommendations, friendly service and a variety of fashion greats, Amy Rae Boutique will be a staple for every stylish season!
Q: When you first came up with the idea to own your own boutique, what was the first step in getting up and running?
Amy Berman: I have wanted to open a boutique ever since I was a little girl, and I always knew that it would be named Amy Rae Boutique. After I graduated college with my degree in business, I worked for Calvin Klein to gain some experience in retail, and more specifically, merchandising. By working for them, I made sure I enjoyed working in the fashion industry. I decided to combine this experience with my degree and open my own business. Once I decided I was going to do it, the first step was figuring out a location! Until you have the location, you can’t do anything up to that point! I was living in East Village at the time, and I decided it was just what the area needed!
Q: What do you think has been the number one priority in building and maintaining such a successful boutique?
AB: My manager and all of the employees that work at Amy Rae! It is important to find a helpful, knowledgeable and reliable staff. I think it is key in any business to have good management who knows how to handle all sorts of situations that can arise. We take the time when anyone gets hired to sit them down and explain everything that we’ve learned since the beginning in order for them to understand and ask questions. Without them, it would be me and a store!
Q: Has there been support from friends and family since opening?
AB: Yes, tons! My dad had great business advice for me, and my mom, my sisters and all of my friends are some of my best customers! They are always supporting me, whether they are shopping, or just seeing how I’m doing. I will send them pictures while I’m at shows asking them if they like certain things and if they would wear it.
Q: How does Amy Rae Boutique go about providing excellent customer service and helping all customers find the perfect outfit?
AB: Again, this is all about the management and employees at Amy Rae. I make sure that they are knowledgeable about the products they are selling. I have a wide variety of styles that will please a wide variety of customers.
Q: Amy Rae Boutique houses an array of designers. When selecting the pieces to feature in your boutique, what or who do you keep in mind as you pick the pieces?
AB: When I first opened, I thought of my eight really close girlfriends from college that I have known for 10 years. When I first started out, I always thought of them, as we each have our own sense of style. I try to picture all of them when I am shopping to make sure that I will have something for anyone who comes into my boutique. Now when I am buying, I still think of them, but more specific customers that come in the shop! Sometimes I see something and I have to buy it as I know a customer will love it. I typically shop for what speaks to me, not necessarily what is the most popular piece. It’s more about the aesthetics and comfort. Beyond that, I look for things that will be flattering, versatile, and my overall goal is to have clothing that will make my customers feel confident, happy and want to return to the store. I love all of my designers, and each one brings something unique to the store!
Q: Are there pieces that will never go out of style?
AB: Definitely! I think these can be the most fun pieces to buy because customers will be able to appreciate them and get use out of the piece for a long time. I feel that a lot of the clothes and jewelry I choose to buy for the store will not go out of style.
Q: Fashion is about having fun and expressing individual style, but should we still consider some do’s and don’ts when it comes to shopping?
AB: I think it is always important to find something that you feel confident wearing. If you don’t feel confident, I don’t think you should go out in it. Just wear what expresses you. Everyone has a different sense of style. I personally like to do more of a simplistic look that can be carried on from season to season. I also think it is important to keep the occasion in mind when getting ready. When in doubt, go for the dressier option! A big don’t for me is to show up to an occasion extremely underdressed.
Q: Can you ever wear too much jewelry?
AB: Yes, I think so! Make one piece your primary focus and accent it from there.
Q: For a night out in Downtown San Diego, what is the go-to outfit?
AB: I love fun, flirty dresses with jewelry and a fabulous pair of heels!
Q: What would you recommend as a summer staple piece?
AB: A maxi dress. It is a great transitional piece for day or night! I’m also excited about all rompers! You will be seeing a lot of them in my store this summer. Rompers are comfortable, cute and look great with heels or flats!
Amy Rae Boutique
833 Market St, Ste 3
San Diego, CA 92101