Sala Joya and La Femme Chic: Solana Beach's Hot New Boutiques
Much of retail may be suffering, but in Solana Beach along the breezy avenue of South Cedros, two new boutiques have opened across the street from each other, both filling the void with vintage clothing and affordable accessories.
Sala Joya opened two weeks ago and owners Jolene Prieto and Jessica Rodrigues have been friends and business partners for many years. Prieto owned the stylish Villa Moda downtown in the Gaslamp for several years.
The store is small but charming. With beautiful new hardwood floors, modern lights, and armoire jewelry cases, it’s easy to shop in and there are a variety of styles to choose from.
“We like to call it up-scale fashion jewelry. Our niche is the area in between fine and costume jewelry; aka affordable,” Rodrigues says.
In addition to women shopping for trendy and affordable pieces, Sala Joya sells many works by local designers. Rodrigues says she’s seeing more designers getting “back to the basics” using materials like sea glass and recycled gold and silver—Efy Tal and Ellen Scott Grable for example.
Customers have also been flocking into the store to find jewelry for the men in their lives. Selling leather bracelets, Tungsten carbide rings, and a lot of cufflinks, the owners say they’re surprised by how many men have begun wearing jewelry recently. “They’re having fun with accessories. They have money and they want something to wear to work or out on the town,” Rodrigues says.
Sala Joya also offers the unique service of bringing the boutique to you. The owners can bring as many pieces as the hostess wants, and often bring the designers themselves--giving guests the option of buying via a trunk show or having something customized especially for them.
Across the street at La Femme Chic, owner Janet Sinclair recently opened a women’s consignment store catering to San Diego’s most scrupulous shopper. With Channel, Chloe, Stella McCartney, Dior, and Burberry, if you love designer, but would like to pay a reasonable price for it, this is the spot to shop.
Prices at Le Femme Chic range between $2 and $1,000. Designer items are virtually half of the normal retail price and most things in the store have never been worn. “This is where women come to get a deal. It’s the only form of retail surviving,” Sinclair says.
The store also sells many new items. One consigner is hoping to sell several cashmere wraps and a full line of Cosobella lounge wear that she normally sells online.
Sinclair came up with the idea to open a consignment shop after the end of her marriage. “After years of being his wife and needing to wear very corporate clothing, I realized I didn’t need that stuff anymore. So, my store is filled a lot of my own clothes. And they’re great finds,” Sinclair says.
- City: Solana Beach