New women’s beach boutique Lavender Cove is named for the operator’s pet rabbit. “He (bunny) is the inspiration,” said Lily Vilchis, a recent high school graduate from Ontario, Calif., who has opened the boho beach chic boutique at 1484 Garnet Ave. with the aid of her grandmother, Nancy Knox.
The pair said it was “both” their idea to do retail.
“We talked about doing a little thrift store or something and then we said, ‘No, let’s just do a regular women’s boutique,’” said Knox. “We said, ‘Let’s just do it. Why not?’”
The idea was consummated at Mr. Frosties, which is in the same strip mall as Lavender Cove, when both women peaked around the corner and noticed there was a for-rent sign causing them to exclaim, “There’s a cute little shop.”
The mother-granddaughter duo then launched into remodeling their new retail space to make it look and feel more like a home than a business. They repainted the black-and-gold interior converting it to orange and turquoise while adding a dressing room.
Open a little over a month, Lavender Cove is gradually building its clientele and reputation. The boutique is about to begin restocking for fall.
Lavender Cove has a quaint, nostalgic allure. Trademark incense is sold as well as a slew of ladies’ jewelry including earrings, necklaces, bracelets, hair ties, candles, flowing dresses and skirts, yoga mat bags, swimwear, scent, and gift bags, suits, scarves, masks, beach towels, sunscreen and sunglasses, and sundresses and sunhats.
Of the inventory in her bohemian boutique, Lily said, “It’s quite a mix. We do have a lot of wild prints and some people really like that, while other people will just buy a plain tank top. It really all just depends. We have a good variety of customers.”
Where does Lavender Cove’s inventory come from?
“The LA fashion district,” replied Lily. “It’s an experience. It’s fun.”
Pointing out she and Lily both window shop in L.A. Garment District just like their own customers do in their shop, Nancy added, “We are well priced.”
Of her new business, Lily said, “I love the whole fashion part of it, getting to pick out and decorate everything. But I never thought I would be in retail. That wasn’t what I thought my future would look like. But I’m glad I’m here now.”
Asked what she’s learned already, Lily replied, “Finance, because I never knew anything about that before and now that’s obviously a big part of my day today. And a lot of this has to do with technology, logging into things online, and research. I’m kind of a grandma with that stuff, but I’ve been learning.”
“This was a good option,” noted Nancy.
Newly minted entrepreneur Lily is trying lots of new things, including taking ukulele lessons.
“She sings so it will accompany her signing,” said Nancy.
“It became really popular during my freshman year of high school, everyone walked around with a ukulele,” said Lily of how she became acquainted with the instrument. “It’s small. You can take it anywhere.”
Will there be ukuleles in Lavender Cove?
“Maybe someday,” said Lily.
Nancy noted it’s not always the big-ticket stuff that draws people into the boutique to browse.
“The little stuff, gifty things, people like more,” she concluded.