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It’s in the Bag: Exactly Where to Shop in San Diego

Written By: Heidi Mares Best Boutiques in San Diego
Photographer By: Matt Doheny  Best Boutiques in San Diego

Representing the best in the business, we got the scoop on the women behind the top four fabulous shop spots in San Diego. From surfer chic to boho with an urban twist and simple cocktail dresses, these boutique owners reveal the best finds in their store, expected new arrivals, upcoming events and their personal favorite must-have items. 

RICA BOUTIQUE

Interview With ERICA ALEXANDER, Boutique Owner 

Q: How did you come up with the idea to open your own boutique?

Erica Alexander: Since I can remember, I’ve loved fashion, clothes and shopping. My first word was “shoe” and when I was 10, I covered my whole bedroom wall with fashion magazine pictures. I started working in retail when I turned 16 and worked in boutiques on and off until I graduated from college. After working a few years in the entertainment industry in Los Angeles, fashion and retail once again called my name and I managed a boutique in Manhattan Beach for four years while I got my MBA. After that, I felt prepared to launch my own boutique and thought La Jolla was the perfect place to make that dream a reality!

Q: What brands can we find in your store?

EA: We pride ourselves on finding awesome brands that don’t break the bank. We also try to find brands you won’t always find at your local department stores. Some of our favorites are Indah, LA Made, Chaser, Level 99, and of course we love carrying smaller more independent California lines like Junim, Mate, 35mm, Good hYOUman, Lovers + Friends and Private Arts. We also need to give a shout out to our rad Australian lines, such as MinkPink, Spell & The Gypsy and Somedays Lovin.

Q: What demographic do you tend to market to?

EA: Our focused market is 24-38 year olds, but we love to dress women of all ages!

Q: What is your must-have item?

EA: My baby blue Balenciaga City Bag.

Q: What can we expect to see coming up in your boutique?

EA: We are planning some fun events and always looking for new up and coming clothing brands from all over the world! We are also so excited about the recent launch of our website www.shop-rica.com and are releasing our summer look book very soon!

Q: If you could explain your boutique in three words, what would you use?

EA: Bohemian. Beach. Chic.

7456 Girard Ave
La Jolla, CA 92037
858.459.0208

 

DOLCETTI BOUTIQUE

Interview With MINET TAYLOR AND NATALIE TAYLOR, Boutique Owners 

Q: How did you come up with the idea to open up your very own boutique?

Minet Taylor & Natalie Taylor: It was our dad’s idea. He’s always encouraged us to be entrepreneurs and taught us that if you love what you do, you never work a day in your life. He saw our passion for this industry and suggested the idea to us.

Q: What brands can we find in your store?

MT&NT: For women, some of our favorite lines are Keepsake, Cameo, Finders Keepers, Naven, Wildfox, BB Dakota, Rich and Skinny, Report, MinkPink and Lovers + Friends. For men we have Antony Morato, Pull-In, RNT 23 and Civil Society.

Q: What demographic do you tend to market to?

MT&NT: We seek to have something for everyone, but our primary demographic is 18-40 years old.

Q: What is your must-have item?

MT&NT: Our two vintage Louis Vuitton suitcases that we scored for $50 each at a street market in Telluride, Colorado. It was the find of a lifetime.

Q: Do you plan on adding more locations to your store?

MT&NT: We would love to! It would be a dream to have Dolcetti Boutique in all major cities around the country.

Q: What can we expect to see coming up in your boutique?

MT&NT: We are always bringing in new lines and looking for the next big thing. You can expect that we will stay on top of the latest trends and offer them at a variety of prices.

Q: If you could explain your boutique in three words, what would you use?

MT&NT: On-trend. Charming. Fun.

635 5th Ave
San Diego, CA 92101
619.501.1559 

OOH FASHIONISTA

Interview With HORTENCIA MOORE, Boutique Owner

Q: How did you come up with the idea to open your own boutique?

Hortencia Moore: I loved fashion since a very young age and always sought out creative activities. I had a swimwear line and did interior design along with other creative ventures. I was looking for something to dive into full time that would embrace my creative side through my divorce and starting a new chapter in my life and so, I decided to venture out and start a boutique. Why OOH Fashionista? Because I want my customers to feel like fashionistas. I am big on customer service and providing amazing looks all for $50 and under.

Q: What brands can we find in your store?

HM: We carry Kenneth Barlis designer apparel. He is an amazing designer who designs couture gowns. He came to me wanting to make a line of everyday wear and simple cocktail dresses, which we now sell for $50 and under. We also carry NOIA designer swimwear and Aguaclara from Peru. I love supporting local designers.

Q: What demographic do you tend to market to?

HM: My demographic consists of women with a vast range in age. I have customers as young as early teens to retired women and everything in between. I look for styles that are comfortable and can transition to different women of different ages.

Q: What is your must-have item?

HM: One of my favorite items is a Rosewater mud mask. It leaves your skin so smooth after the first use! Cleopatra used rosewater as her beauty secret and I can see why. It is sold at OOH Fashionista for only $13.80.

Q: What can we expect to see coming up in your boutique?

HM: We never re-carry a style, reducing the chances of you running into someone wearing your outfit. I keep my promise of no item, jewelry or natural skin products being above $50. I am always looking for local designers and unique jewelry making OOH Fashionista a unique find.

Q: If you could explain your boutique in three words, what would you use?

HM: Friendly. Affordable. Girly.

111 Chesterfield Dr #117
Cardiff By The Sea, CA 92007
760.230.2314

 

THE MOBILE BOUTIQUE OWNER

Interview with KATIE MCCARTHY Owner of Stop Shop & Roll

Q: How did you come up with the idea to open your own mobile boutique?

Katie McCarthy: I wanted my own store, but could not afford the rent nor wanted the commitment to a lease! I also love to travel and enjoy the sunshine. I was living in Oakland, CA at the time and saw how much mobile was on the move, so I wanted to join the trucker lady crew.

Q: What brands can we find in your store?

KM: I focus on local, handmade, fast fashion and vintage flare. I like to keep it interesting with things you don’t see at the department stores.

Q: What demographic do you tend to market to?

KM: Our target customer is 28-38 years old. My style is boho with an urban twist. Women on the go with a busy lifestyle love to shop with us. I hear all the time, ”I love this shop because I don’t have time to shop and you come to me.” Yes, that’s right. We come to you! You can book your own private party with your favorite gal pals.

Q: What is your must-have item?

KM: I love hats and headbands.

Q: Do you plan on adding more parking spot locations to your store?

KM: Yes, of course! We are always looking for our next parking spot. Let us know if you want us to come to your event, party, business, etc.

Q: What can we expect to see coming up in your mobile boutique?

KM: We are trying to expand online as well as create an urban mobile park.

Q: If you could explain your mobile boutique in three words, what would you use? KM: Rolling fashion trends. 

 

VOCABULARY BOUTIQUE

Interview With CECELIA CHURCH, Boutique Owner 

Q: How did you come up with the idea to open your own boutique?

Cecelia Church: I was a freelance stylist juggling many jobs (one of which was at a boutique). I loved getting to know the customers and where they were headed, what they were wearing, etc. I thought doing all the things I loved at one place sounded lovely.

Q: What brands can we find in your store?

CC: Rieley, Corey, JVL, Collective Concepts, DL 1961, Genetics Denim, Sol Angeles, Press, Tart, Groceries Apparel, Howe, Mimi & Lu, Jeweliany Jewelry and French Connection.

Q: Do you carry any of your own creations?

CC: Baby onesies and swaddle blankets that I make myself. They are adorable and very useful gifts. Many women have told me that their baby is sleeping only because of my blanket. You can imagine how happy that makes them!

Q: What demographic do you tend to market to?

CC: EVERYONE. We like to have something for everyone who appreciates charming, smart clothing, accessories, home decor, gifts, etc.

Q: What is your must-have item?

CC: My wedding ring, which was designed by one of the jewelers whose jewelry I carry at Vocabulary.

Q: Can we expect to see anything coming up in your boutique?

CC: Always new arrivals. We are now hosting shopping parties for guests to come in for private shopping, mimosas and more. We will have a fashion show celebrating our fifth birthday in August or September.

Q: If you could explain your boutique in three words, what would you use?

CC: Smart. Charming. Accessible.

414 W Cedar St
San Diego, CA 92101
619.544.1100 

 

1}TRE BOUTIQUE
2690 Via De La Valle, Ste D240, Del Mar, CA 92014 858.755.7227

1923 Calle Barcelona, Ste 144, Carlsbad, CA 92009 760.942.0227 | www.treboutique.com
This fine fashion store is located in the Flower Hill Promenade as well as Carlsbad. They carry savvy, sophisticated style sets and have an array of fashion pieces in bold colors and prints.

2} MATTI D
2689 Via De La Valle, Del Mar, CA 92014
858.523.0693
This high-end women’s boutique is in beautiful Del Mar

and full of hand-crafted items. They carry both unique and designer pieces that are sophisticated with some flair for that special occasion. Frequent affluent customers will enjoy the timeless fashion and accessories.

3} MIMI & RED BOUTIQUE
3032 University Ave
San Diego, CA 92104
619.298.7933
5630 La Jolla Blvd
La Jolla, CA 92037
858.456.7933 | www.mimiandred.com
Mimi’s has whimsical looks with princess tulle and sweet pastel colors. Their rompers are adorable prints that can be mixed up with their easy accessories. They also carry amazing scented candles that make a great addition to any home.
4} GIRLS FASHIONABLY LATE BOUTIQUE
769 Broadway, El Cajon, CA 92021
619.441.9403

1174 Main St, Ramona, CA 92065
760.787.0797 | www.girlsfashionablylate.com
Known as “FL” for Fashionably Late, the staff is helpful and the pricing is amazing. This boutique is Urban Outfitters meets Forever 21. From sweet to boho, they have you covered.

5} DREAMGIRLS
5054 Newport Ave, San Diego, CA 92107
619.223.4836 | www.shopdreamgirls.com
In the heart of Ocean Beach, Dreamgirls attracts tribal print lovers, bold color fanatics and hippie style devotees. From nude to bold, the shop carries great and inexpensive items that can be mixed with your favorite designer shoes or clutch without breaking the bank.

6} SHERIDAN AT RANCHO VALENCIA
5921 Valencia Cir, Rancho Santa Fe, CA 92067 858.756.1123 | www.ranchovalencia.com
If you’ve ever been to Rancho Valencia, you know how beautiful and tranquil their spa is. The Sheridan does not disappoint with its glamorous items, sizzle expressions and stunning jewels.

7} SUNNY SKYS BIKINIS
2101 San Elijo Ave, Cardiff By Sea, CA 92007
760.436.8810 | www.sunnyskys.com
Sunny Skys is North County’s cutest itty-bitty bikini selection for the young girl who enjoys spring break and attention colors. Located right in Cardiff by the Sea, they offer custom fits for any body type.

8} FRANCESCA’S
7007 Friars Rd #584, San Diego, CA 92108 619.688.9363

324 Horton Plz, San Diego, CA 92101 619.236.0297

7886 Girard Ave, La Jolla, CA 92037
858.729.0350 | www.francescas.com
A trendy shop for the mature woman looking to show a

little skin, pieces range from sophisticated to chic with great accessories, bags and shoes. With more than one location, these three in San Diego make it hard not to notice its popularity.

 

9} MOG & RUE BOUTIQUE NOW REIGN & CLOVER

937 S Coast Hwy 101 #102 , Encinitas, CA 92024 760.635.2664 | www.reignandclover.com
A quaint outdoor shopping plaza in the breezy community of Encinitas, the selection of clothing, shoes and cosmetics make this shop a great “quick stop” for an after the beach night out. As they revamp their collection under a new branding name called Reign & Clover, we are excited to see their upcoming styles!

10} EMMA JANE
928 Fort Stockton Dr, San Diego, CA 92103 619.692.3802 | www.shopemmajane.com
Owned by sisters and best friends, Jen and Jess, this boutique offers bold and vibrant prints that will keep the attention on you.

11} LUELLA BOUTIQUE
949 Turquoise St, San Diego, CA 92109
858.488.8846 | www.luellaboutique.com
A wonderful assortment of whimsical and cute attire mixed with sexy and sultry swim cover ups. Their cami and shorts romance outfits are the perfect skinny-mini for lounging poolside.

12} GLOSS BOUTIQUE
959 Garnet Ave, San Diego, CA 92109
858.483.1513 | www.glossboutique.com
Uber trendy, Gloss will have your party dress and matching heels or floral shorts and a crop top for very reasonable prices.

13} BUBBLES, A UNIQUE BOUTIQUE
226 5th Ave, San Diego, CA 92101
619.236.9003 | www.bubblesboutique.com
The name says it all! Bubbles is located in the Gaslamp Quarter with tons of bubbly-girl outfits and displays. The customer service is outstanding and really loves to get to know their clientele. Whether it’s a gift idea or your own shopping spree, Bubbles girls will have you covered.

14} PINK ZONE
450 5th Ave, San Diego, CA 92101
619.236.0148
The Pink Zone boutique is a smaller version of Forever 21 with a large array of hip dresses, rompers, nice blouses, miniskirts and bold colors. Don’t let the name fool you— the Pink Zone is not only a pink color store!

15} 5&A DIME
701 8th Ave, San Diego, CA 92101
619.236.0364 | www.5andadime.com
5&A Dime is a relaxed men’s clothing store in San Diego. With laid back styles, tees and hats, the shop advertises their superior label above quantity.

16} HUNT & GATHER
2871 University Ave, San Diego, CA 92104
619.297.3040 | www.huntandgathershop.com

Specializing in men’s and women’s vintage clothing and accessories, this shop is known for their affordable pricing and offers one of a kind designer pieces, jewelry, t-shirts, records and artwork.

17} PINK LAGOON
143 S Cedros Ave, Solana Beach, CA 92075
858.792.0882 | www.pinklagoon.com
This sunny Southern California location is a simple and minimalist shopping oasis. The team is well-balanced and able to edit any wardrobe. They have design and styling services with a reward program that any customer will enjoy. The constant trend events are a must for the locals.

18} LE BEL AGE BOUTIQUE
1607 W Lewis St, San Diego, CA 92103
619.297.7080
This boutique is a gypsy land mine! The colors, sequins, jewelry, bold statements and bohemian flare are a fun shopping trip. The staff are creative, genuine and love to properly overdress their clients to their best!

19} G-STAR RAW
470 5th Ave, San Diego, CA 92101
619.238.7088 | www.g-star.com
A haven for denim, G-Star offers men’s and women’s clothing and accessories and is the go-to shop for edgy apparel with a luxury feel.

20} THE FRENCH COWGIRL
427 S Cedros Ave, Solana Beach, CA 92075
858.847.3111
Swimsuits and cover ups, western hats and clutches: the French Cowgirl is true to its name. The boutique is rich in cowboy culture, combining timeless boots with trendy threads.

21} MELROSE BOUTIQUE
2654 Jamacha Rd Ste 113, El Cajon, CA 92019 619.660.0607 | www.shopmelroseboutique.com
Located in eastern San Diego and owned by sisters, Melrose Boutique brings fashion to the desert with styles like Sky, Miss Me and Twisted Heart.

22} JUNC.LIFE
2209 Fern St, San Diego, CA 92104
619.283.2611 | www.junclife.com
Junc.Life is far from its name. There is no junk to be found here. Their women’s collection is very feminine, the menswear is sleek and there are plenty of random trinkets to peruse. They have great home items, decorative pillows and DIY terrarium kits making this a one-stop-shop in South Park.

23} ATTIRE BY LEA
7202 El Cajon Blvd Ste A, San Diego, CA 92115 619.460.5766
Lea, the owner, is a genius when it comes to sewing and alterations, but also has a knack for style. She opened this boutique for fun clothes including costumes, belly dancing and accessory items in addition to their services. This boutique is a great stop for the creative mind that wants to make their clothes personalized for their style.

24} LOLO BOUTIQUE
12925 El Camino Real, Del Mar, CA 92130 | 858.350.9055

282 N El Camino Real, Encinitas, CA 92024 | 760.944.9055

7927 Girard Ave, La Jolla, CA 92037 | 858.454.7055

789 W Harbor Dr, San Diego, CA 92101 | 619.544.9055
LOLO specifically caters to women with colored styles. Their paisley maxi dresses, printed earrings, bright colored bags and necklaces, and vast array of scarves, blouses and skirts make this a great place for the lady who loves to style her closet like the rainbow.

25} EDEN BOUTIQUE
520 5th Ave, San Diego, CA 92101
619.696.3336 | www.edenboutiques.com
Discover your trendy side in this Gaslamp district treasure trove! Eden Boutique offers a wealth of unique clothing and accessories for the discerning fashionista. If you’re looking for some cool-girl chic, this is definitely a shop to check out.

26} STUDIO 1220
665 San Rodolfo Dr Ste 109B, Solana Beach, CA 92075 858.755.1199 | www.studio1220.com
Studio 1220 is for the bold wanderer. Their collection is an urban jungle of soft blouses with summer prints and breezy styles. This is the easy stop for young women who enjoy a bohemian chic look.

27} AMY RAE BOUTIQUE
833 Market St #3, San Diego, CA 92101
619.995.6795 | www.amyraeboutique.com
Newly opened in 2013, Amy Rae Boutique offers a sweet spin on a local boutique, with adorable home goods, jewelry, and (of course) clothes. A dangling crystal chandelier illuminates the spacious (but still intimate) interior, adding a shot of glamour to an already dazzling shopping experience.

28} CAPRICORN BOUTIQUE
5628 La Jolla Blvd Ste B, La Jolla, CA 92037
858.551.2660 | www.capricornboutique.com
The name Capricorn comes from none other than the aligned stars of owners Krissy and Lisa. The boutique is inspired by Parisian black and white checkered floors, antiques and open spaces. This is considered one of San Diego’s finest boutiques and a must-stop in Bird Rock.

29} FASHION KISS
8209 La Mesa Blvd, La Mesa, CA 91942
619.466.4604| www.myfashionkiss.com
My Fashion Kiss is the convenient shop for juniors and fashion forward girls with a great selection of clothing for any type

of mood. There are tons of cute items and adorable styles at affordable prices.

30} TUCCI BOUTIQUE
130 S Cedros Ste 140, Solana Beach, CA 92075 858.259.8589

12857 El Camino Real Ste N4
San Diego, CA 92130
858.792.8824 | www.tucciboutique.com
Tucci is sleek, sophisticated and comfortable. Designs include Alexander Wang, J Brand, The Woods and Laura B among others. With two convenient shops in North County, this boutique is a great place to find a combination of rustic and modern looks.

 

THE STYLISTS

FRANCISCO, EDDIE AND ALEX BARRAGAN
of Style by F.E.A www.stylebyfea.com 

Q: What inspired you to open your own styling services / business?

Style by F.E.A: We’ve always had a deep admiration for fashion and have been very passionate about it. Growing up we always dealt with our loved ones’ fashion emergencies, so becoming stylists just felt natural.

Q: What brands can we find in your personal closet?

SBF: We have a talent for finding at least one item we can’t seem to live without at every store that we set foot in, so our closets have everything from Prada to Forever 21.

Q: What demographic do you tend to market to?

SBF: We’re not exclusive to any one particular demographic, which is why we love what we do. One minute we could be styling a menswear shoot and the next minute we could be helping a starlet find the perfect red carpet look. 

Q: What is your most beloved item?

SBF: We can’t live without our obscenely large sunglass collection!

Q: Do you plan on adding any more stylists to your business?

SBF: Perhaps in the future. The idea of having an army of stylists ready to tackle any fashion emergency does sound kind of amazing.

Q: What styles can we expect to see coming up in the new season that you think will make a statement?

SBF: The fall/winter runways have a lot of great, bold prints that we’re really excited about!

Q: If you could explain your style in three words, what would you use?

SBF: Eclectic. Layered. European. 

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