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Owner’s Manual

We sit down with the owners of your favorite local shops and talk fashion, family and customers that have turned into friends

By Meredith Kavanagh  l  PHOTOGRAPHY BY Brevin Blach
Hair And Make-Up By Details SalonSpa: Kristy Dubinsky, Chantelle Ballard

You see their friendly faces when you visit your favorite local shops. You know them and their canine companions by first name. They’re the ones doing it all. From artfully arranging window displays to the less glamorous job of steaming garments, these shop owners aren’t just running a business, they’re sharing their passion with everybody who walks through the door.

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Sigi’s Boutique
Phyllis Lanphier
“I buy pieces that have intrinsic value, and when I curate the store, I choose each item with our customer in mind.”

Beauty has been a primary concept in Phyllis Lanphier’s life since childhood, and she draws on that inspiration every day at Sigi’s Boutique. Whether she’s using her extensive knowledge of fabrics and fibers to find the perfect dress for a customer, or creating eye-catching window displays, she believes that a visually-pleasing environment is key. And her absolute favorite part of owning Sigi’s: “The freedom of being able to be completely creative and my commitment to give my customers a true boutique experience with integrity.” Outfit: Brunello Cucinelli trousers, Brunello Cucinelli belt, Fabiana Filippi wrap sweater, Susan Cummings sterling silver lentil bracelets (all prices on request), 7888 Girard Avenue, La Jolla 858.454.7244 sigislajolla.com

Alexia Maria
Alexia Maria Esquer
“Every piece I design resembles my personal style: feminine and timeless but with a modern twist.”

Alexia Maria’s high-end gowns made of luxurious silks, satin and organza are enough to evoke fairy-tale dreams. But she doesn’t stop there. “I like to make the experience of buying a dress unforgettable,” Esquer says. She offers sparkling beverages and sweet bites while you shop, but most importantly, she cares for her clients. “The most important part of the experience is making women feel and look beautiful.” Be sure to check out the Convertible Collection: “Customers love the idea of having a casual jumpsuit and being able to make it formal by layering with our Long Convertible Skirt.” DRESS: Alexia Maria red off-the-shoulder ball gown, $1,025, 1261 Prospect Street, Suite 2, La Jolla 858.412.9120 alexiamaria.com

 

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Alpaca Collections
Santiago Ortega
“I can assure you that we have the best alpaca products on the market.”

Immediately upon speaking with him, it’s clear that Santiago Ortega has an unparalleled passion for his products. His shop specializes in clothing created with luxurious natural fibers, with a focus on Peruvian alpaca and vicuña wool. Since these textiles are still largely unknown, Ortega enjoys educating customers on the value and quality of these materials. If you stop by Alpaca Collections, you’re apt to leave with a little bit of knowledge plus a newfound appreciation for the rich history of the alpaca. Outfit: KUNA v-neck alpaca sweater, $199, and 100% Vicuña scarf, $1,450, 1275 Prospect Street, La Jolla 888.308.2636 alpacacollections.com

 

 

Cut Loose
Roanne Rogers
“There’s a generation of women who don’t know what it’s like to collect pieces for a wardrobe — I want to bring that back.”

Roanne Rogers and Cut Loose opened this shop to introduce San Diego to a line of quality, American-made garments for the down-to-earth woman. Cut Loose is stocked with classic styles in a seasonally-inspired palette of colors, but individual pieces are always available on a made-to-order basis. This allows shoppers to assemble a collection of incredibly comfortable and long-lasting garments that will never go out of style. We’re loving the twist tank as a layering piece – and it’s available in every color! OUTFIT: Cotton rayon cardigan, $87, Scarf, $38, Natural fiber rayon spandex v-neck tee, $66, Black ponti knit leggings, $98, 142 South Cedros Avenue, Solana Beach 858.509.0386 cutloose.com

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Cedros Soles
Stephanie Stock, Barbara Forest and Dennis Del Rey
“I have this theory that everyone has a talent and those who get to use it daily are truly the lucky ones.”

Upon entering Cedros Soles, you can see that Stephanie Stock and her close-knit staff  share a similar talent: an equal love for fashion and people. This passion is shared with her mother Barbara Forest and stepfather Dennis Del Rey, who own the boutique with Stock. “We work as a family to make our shop’s experience one that you want to revisit,” Stock says. Judging by the crowded store on any given day, it’s working. “We feel so lucky that we get to do this every day.” Next time you stop by, be sure to ask her about her favorite winter staple: the cashmere sweater! THE CLothes: Free People sweater, $108, Frye suede over-the-knee boot, $498, AG jeans, $225, Chan Luu blouse, $226, AG boot-cut jeans, $178, Frye bootie, $326, Culturata shirt, $184, J Brand jeans, $176, Seavees shoes, $118, 143 South Cedros Avenue, Suite L, Solana Beach 858.794.9911 cedrossoles.com

 

Ascot Shop
Bill White and Andy White
“We want to welcome you and make you feel like you’re in our home … because this is our home.”

A buoyant atmosphere immediately welcomes you upon entering the Ascot Shop. Bill and Andy White will humbly tell you that the key to their success is their loyal customer base. But it’s more than that. The dedication to exceptional garments, combined with a no-holds-barred approach to customer service makes it easy to see why San Diego’s best-dressed men are clients for life. The father and son team count Robert Talbott, Hickey Freeman and Corneliani among their favorite lines at the moment. Be sure to check out in-house tailoring, custom-made apparel, and complimentary wardrobe consultation. The CLOTHES: Robert Talbott sport coat, $895, Robert Talbott sport shirt, $228, Citizens of Humanity jeans, $255, Allen Edmonds shoe, $350, Robert Talbott lapel bow tie, $45, Robert Talbott lavender pocket square, $55, Robert Talbott Italian-made sport coat, $1,195, Robert Talbott bow tie made in Carmel, $95, Eton shirt from Sweden, $265, Citizens of Humanity jeans, $225, Allen Edmonds shoe made in Wisconsin, $385, White lapel flower from Edward Armah, $35, Robert Talbott navy pocket square, $55, 7750 Girard Avenue, La Jolla 858.454.4222 ascotshop.com

 

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Lola
Anna E. Cottrell
“Lola was founded in 2004 on the belief that quality trumps quantity.”

In June of 2014, Anna E. Cottrell and her team opened the doors of Lola La Jolla and have been blowing the community away ever since. “We offer a wardrobe for any Southern California woman that appreciates a clean and chic aesthetic,” Cottrell says. The shop is known for its expertly-curated
selection of luxury basics, premium denim and accessories. Oh, the accesso-ries! Lola offers many of the labels you know and love. They also stock local designers: Rue Stiic, Koch and Thatch. “We like to keep our product mix fresh and eclectic so there is something for everyone,” Cottrell says. “We receive new shipments of products almost daily and can’t keep them on the shelves!” Outfit: Pam & Gela turtleneck dress with zippers, $195, Avant Garde Paris, Gouette cuff, $145, 7444 Girard Avenue, La Jolla 858.230.7444 shoplola.com

Curve Couture
Deirdre Mick
“My goal is to drape, not hide, your figure.”

“I love my customers,” Deirdre Mick says with a smile. “They’re fabulous women who inspire and entertain me.” And after hearing the light-hearted laughter coming from the dressing room area, it seems the feeling is mutual. Mick describes her customer as a sophisticated woman who likes to follow trends but isn’t trendy. Curve Couture is generously stocked with flattering designs for women sizes 8-24. The added bonus: sweet and welcoming employees who will help you find something that makes you feel fabulous! OUTFIT: Lee Andersen basic crush dress, $175, Lee Andersen gathering jacket, $315, 415 South Cedros Avenue, Suite 160, Solana Beach 858.847.9100 curve-couture.com

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Gracie & Co.
Judi Shapery
“Some customers come in just to chat or to play with Grace Anne. You can always tell who the regulars are by her friendly bark when she sees them!”

Judi Shapery’s fluffy white dog may think she’s the boss, but it’s Judi who, for more than 30 years, has made Gracie & Co. a mainstay on Girard Avenue. Many of her clients have been shopping with her from the very beginning. “We’ve grown up together, and I’ve helped them find clothes that transition from work to play to traveling,” Shapery says. “Our customers appreciate that our clothes are edited and that shopping with us is effortless.”  Gracie & Co. is well-known for gorgeous cashmere sweaters and perfectly-fitting pants that are comfortable, casual, California chic! OUTFIT: Chan Luu gold necklace, $190, Chan Luu bracelets (price on request), Pure Amici cashmere sweater, $350, Equestrian black leggings, $165, 7458 Girard Avenue, La Jolla 858.459.5577 gracieandcoboutique.com