What inspired you to open the boutique?
When I was young, my mother was a Rockette at Radio City Music Hall and I used to do my homework at the seamstress’ desk in the wardrobe room. There were racks upon racks upon racks of the most magnificent costumes I’d ever seen, and when the dancers would come in for fittings, giggling and gossiping and trying all the pretty things on, I remember thinking “This is what I want to do when I grow up—and it has nothing to do with this math I’m sweating over.” So I did, for a while, work as a wardrobe stylist for TV and film, and when I moved out to San Francisco from New York, I decided to open a place of my own a place where women could come to giggle and gossip and try pretty things on! (Of course now that I have my own business, that math actually does come in pretty handy from time to time.)
How long have you been operating?
Five years, which is really saying something considering we opened our doors at the beginning of the economic downturn in 2007. I feel very fortunate to have such amazing and loyal customers who understand the importance of supporting small businesses and who appreciate the personal connection that comes along with shopping at locally owned boutiques!
Why the name Marmalade?
I put a lot of thought into the name because I had such a strong vision for the esthetic, and I wanted the name to sound like what the boutique would look like. I was having tea one afternoon with a friend who was visiting from London and she asked me what sorts of things I planned to carry in the shop. I responded by saying, “It’s sort of a jam of girly things—clothing, accessories, candles, pillows…” The moment the word jam came out of my mouth, the word marmalade came to mind. I don’t know if it’s because she was English and we were at tea, but as soon as I said it out loud, I knew it was right.
Describe your clothes in three words
Feminine, romantic and happy.
How would you describe your typical customer?
She’s smart, sophisticated and stylish in her own unique and uncomplicated way. Her social calendar is brimming with fun charitable events, lunches with the ladies and romantic weekend getaways to the country. She’s as comfortable in a ball gown as she is in a baseball cap—and looks just as adorable in either one.
What are some of your personal go-to pieces right now?
A pair of perfectly broken-in riding boots in creamy, butterscotch leather that I picked up at a flea market in Paris, a high-low maxi dress in a sun-bleached ikat print that I’ve worn with everything from wedges to the aforementioned boots to flip-flops, a vintage Diane Von Furstenberg wrap dress from the year I was born that I found at a secondhand shop in Palm and a mustard cardigan that we sell at Marmalade that goes with absolutely everything I own!
Fashion VS Style?
Lauren Hutton once said, “Fashion is what we’re given four times a year; style is what you make of it”. To me, fashion comes from the houses of Versace, Gucci and Chanel…but style, which in my opinion is much more interesting, is knowing how to blend just the right amount of tradition, convention and trend to create a look that’s all your own.
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