For quite some time now, the girls at SK have been talking about doing a feature on a Vintage inspired theme. After many nights of scrambling with ideas and through our research, we came across one of the dopest vintage boutiques in Miami.
L.A. Boudoir (like its slogan) is more than just vintage. In this cute space, you will not only find vintage clothing, but also a wide array of accessories, one of a kind costumes and the most unique furniture that you’ve ever laid eyes on! Its owner, Lauren Arkin is not only a woman that likes vintage; she loves, eats, and breathes the style. Her knowledge enables her to not only do style consulting and personal shopping for her clients, but also inform and update the vintage enthusiasts about events and new merchandise.
SK: Tell us about L.A Boudoir. When did you start it and what does it feature? Is it just Vintage accessories, clothing etc. ? What prompted you to start it?
L.A.B: L.A. Boudoir Miami started in 2010, the “L” stands for my first name Lauren and the “A” stands for my last name Arkin. But it can also be a play on words depending on how people pronounce it; either “LA” or L.A. We carry a wide variety of vintage items for men, women and children at affordable prices. Items include clothing, jewelry, accessories, props, home accents and some furniture. I started collecting vintage items since I was a little girl and always wanted to have my own shop one day. My background is in costume and fashion design so it only came naturally. We also rent out items and the store for photoshoots, events, productions, etc.
SK: What are some of the challenges you have faced with opening a business in Miami? What has been your biggest reward?
L.A.B: I feel Miami is still very new to having vintage stores unlike Los Angeles or New York, so the only slight challenge was dealing with the city for permitting. I worked at previous vintage boutiques throughout Miami and I knew I wanted the main concept of my shop to be “affordable” vintage where anybody who appreciates vintage like myself can purchase items without hurting the bank. One of the biggest rewards is having customers come back and say how they love their purchases and had to come back to see everything that is new. When they bring in or recommend friends, family and acquaintances, that is definitely a bonus.
SK: How has your feedback/conversion been since launching the business been so far?
L.A.B: Most of the feedback I have received is positive. I have only had a small handful of people tell me negative feedback and in those cases it was because I didn’t have a certain item they were looking for, which in my opinion was a bit ridiculous. Any feedback I do receive I try and apply it to the best of my ability.
SK: What do you enjoy most about your industry (vintage) and what has been your biggest inspiration?
L.A.B: This is a tough question, because I enjoy a lot of things. One thing is that with vintage most of the items are one of a kind, and I love when I have a customer that wants to have something not found in department stores. I am able to show them pieces that are unique and versatile. These “eye catchers” are what makes this industry so different from the rest. I love to hear from customers that went to the mall trying to find something and then when they come to the shop they find exactly what they are looking for and nobody else will have it; its like owning a piece of treasure. Vintage isn’t just about one time period or style, it allows you to get as creative as you want. One of my biggest inspirations has been my mom. She has always told me to always pursue my dreams to its fullest and that patience is a virtue, which has definitely proven true.
SK: What are your thoughts on the Mimo/ Upper East side area? Do you feel the changes have been positive within the district?
L.A.B: Yes, I feel that all of the changes thus far have been in a positive direction for the area. I think the Mimo /Upper East side area is going to be one of the next biggest development areas. It has been a slow growth process but we have numerous developers that are looking at all the great possibilities within the area that just need some re-finishing to shine bright like a diamond. I think this area will have some serious competition with Miami Beach and the Design District within the next couple years. The Mimo/Upper East Side will never become a tourist mecca like South Beach, but will have a very locally diverse community of businesses and people.
SK: What are your thoughts on Miami and all its growth in the last 5 years? And how it pertains to people in the arts, fashion and photography field such as yourself?
L.A.B: Miami has grown tremendously in the art and design industry over the past 5 years. I feel Miami still has a lot of growing and developing to do to make it stand out even more. Its population tends to follow the masses, especially within the fashion trends which is the area I think it needs it most. Miami needs to be a little more adventurous and try starting trends instead of just following them. With having Art Basel yearly, Miami has definitely stepped up its game on the art scene, thus making a name for itself on the art map. In those 4 days, Miami becomes an art crazed city. With our growth in the art industry it has allowed many unknown, small businesses and artists flourish while not having to go and start in New York or the west coast. Miami will always be one of the most colorful and vibrant cities in the U.S . because we have such a diverse population of people.
SK: We see that you are very much involved in the community. Any future events being conducted by L.A Boudoir that we should know about?
L.A.B: L.A.Boudoir will be co-hosting a 1st Annual Halloween party with Via Verdi Restauranton Oct 31st starting at 7pm, tickets can be purchased either from the shop or the restaurant.
SK: You host Retro Martini Tuesdays, tell us more about it.
L.A.B: Retro Martini Tuedays is a once a month happy hour party (usually the first Tuesday of every month) where you can take a trip back in time to the late and great 1950’s (we usually change periods every other month). There are happy hour specials, live Dj, buffet from Via Verdi Restaurant, and period attire is encouraged. I usually have a few models walking around the restaurant showcasing different looks from the shop. Make sure you check our facebook page for the next edition.
SK: What’s next for L.A Boudoir?
L.A.B: Great question! I would love to open a second location either locally or nationally or even expand the current store to a larger space.
SK: Lastly, in your opinion, does Society really kill? How does society influence women like you?
L.A.B: I think Society kills only if you allow it. Society has both positive and negative aspects to it and it’s all about how you use it: to your best advantage and ignore the negative. You have to be a strong, confident individual who believes in yourself to over-come any obstacles that society can throw your way. Any failures you face are only there to make your next move even stronger •