The Thrill of the Hunt:
Part 3 - Boutique Shopping
- story by Greg Matusoff, photos by Ellis Anderson
In the last few months we covered how and why to shop thrift, vintage, resale shops and discount stores. This month, we're stepping up to boutiques.
One could argue that big department stores and multi-store retailers such as J Crew and Banana Republic carry so much inventory that their end-of-the-season sales make this the go-to shopping default.
I, however, disagree, and would prefer to go boutique shopping any day of the week. With boutiques, you're enjoying locally owned shops that in most cases are specializing in certain genres or styles that are currently in fashion and not found everywhere else. And to top it off, the customer service is amazing.
Over time, frequenting the same boutiques, you build a rapport that you wouldn't find elsewhere. They'll come to know you and the brands you favor, and what might fit best. It's not uncommon to get a phone call or email when something they think you'll love comes in the store. And when it does, you can rest assured that you won't see the same item worn by 15 of your closest friends, as might be the case with something from the Gap.
We've even had one shop owner send us home with a pair of boots to try on and make sure they fit right with the understanding that we'd come back to pay or return the next day. Where else does that happen?
And keep in mind that most of these shops are locally owned. Shopping boutiques is a great way to support your friends and neighbors while keeping money in our community.
If you haven't tried some of our boutiques, I encourage you to do so. You'll find some unique pieces and get to know your neighbors in the process. And in the end, we should all feel good about our own personal expression and live an inspired life.
For women: Anthony's (501 Main Street) and California Drawstrings (216 Main Street, which has a small men's section). Bay-Tique (125 Main Street), Splash (833 Highway 90) and Bella Mar (998 Hwy 90) stand out locally.