A Little Vanity for the Soul – Elisabeth Hebert

Laura Abeyta shows a bit of style- Photo by John Collazos
Laura Abeyta shows a bit of style- Photo by John Collazos

As much as I love all the new restaurants that have opened in downtown Culver City, you may not have noticed a hip and trendy retail boutique is here for all to enjoy. The Vanity Room on Main Street – right between the Grand Casino and the Cosmetology School. I could even ride my bike there – which is a dangerous thought since I have always loved the clothes. Easy access may tempt me too much.

I know quite a few women who have wanted this to happen and have even thought of opening a boutique on their own but the credit has to go to Laura Abeyta, the super stylish owner of the Vanity Room Culver City, as well as the one on Washington Blvd. in Los Angeles.

Topping the list in a classic international way,  Laura owns a Vanity Room in Bali, where she does a lot of her research and sourcing and gathers the majority of her inspiration. She also designs a brand for the store called Retail Therapy. She is a super sharp buyer with a keen eye for what will work,  paying attention to what her clients are attracted to, as well as constant research on popular, seasonal trends.

Laura, a California native, has somewhat of a bohemian/exotic look that she pulls off beautifully and effortlessly. She felt Culver City (specifically downtown) needed an updated boutique and that the Vanity Room would be the perfect fit. She also knows that the customers who shop at the Vanity Room on Washington are a different set than the ones who visit the Main Street store in Culver City. Regardless she always follows the Golden Rule of Fashion: Never let the clothes wear you!

Laura opened the Washington Blvd. location (the first Vanity Room) in 2001. She explained that her ideal boutique would be to have every category of clothing in one’s closet so you are never at a loss for what to wear. Whether it is a look for work, a date night dress or an outfit for the upcoming holiday season, the Vanity Room will have you covered. Another words, she said, “when you leave the boutique, there is no reason to stop again.” You will be complete, right down to your scent.

The boutique itself is gorgeous, spacious and decadent. Grandiose chandeliers and funky, mint green and black wallpaper accent the boutique and give it a “Hollywood” vibe. The dressing rooms are also incredibly large with a huge mirror between them so you can check your look from all angles.

Holly McKay, who works at the Vanity Room on Main Street is smart and helpful. She always has another alternative if something is not working for a particular client. She knows her merchandise and is able to sum up what would look good based on each customer’s individual style and body type. She knows this is Culver City and that the majority of her customer base will not be teenagers but the 25-40ish age range who want to keep it simple, yet stylish.

The boutique features brand favorites such as J. Brand Jeans, Esley (a personal favorite), Pico 1988 (love their white lace tank tops) and Collective Concepts. The Vanity Room also offers great bags, sassy shoes and tons of jewelry (especially fun costume rings) that are priced reasonably. I specifically like the Hobo International purse-wallets that are very popular at the moment. These are perfect for those “car keys, credit card and lip gloss only nights out.” I have always loved the Vanity Room because their clothes definitely have a trendy look but never over-the-top. Another words, moms can shop there and you are still dressing for your age, not your daughter’s.

Laura also mentioned how J. Brand Jeans are a top seller due to the amazing cut (Full disclosure- I do own a pair and they are like no other.) Bailey 44 is also very popular due to its soft, plush fabrics and timeless feel. Even the scents have a dramatic touch. The perfume offered at the boutique is by Oiseau in Flaming June and Darling Blue.

Personally I am very happy for Culver City. Who really wants to drive all over L.A. to put together a look when you can walk downtown, grab an empanada and a coffee, maybe get a blow dry for an amazing price and then shop some of the hippest looks in the “small-town” feel of Culver City.

In fashion as well as in life, it can take a lot of work to make something look effortless. This little boutique might have sprung fresh from pavement, it’s just so right for Culver City. the A little vanity is good for the soul. Indulge, and enjoy.

Elisabeth Hebert is a Culver City mom who loves to look great and feel comfortable. You can spot her in her J. Brand jeans and white lace tank top when the weather is just a little warmer.

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