Two new women's clothing boutiques are bringing a little cowgirl attitude and the hottest European styles to Rancho Santa Fe.
Jakki's Closet and Daniela Boutique opened last month on either side of Browtique on Paseo Delicias, spicing up shopping opportunities in the Village.
Jakki's Closet offers western couture "with a rock and roll attitude," said owner Jakki Hill.
The store is full of an eclectic mix of clothes, shoes, belts, hats and jewelry, including custom-made Lucchese leather boots and Double D Ranch clothes and jackets with funky embellishments.
"You don't have to be a cowgirl or own a horse to shop here," Hill said. "I don't care who you are, you put on a pair of cowboy boots and you walk a little bit different than when wearing a pair of tennis shoes."
Hill said she has always loved fashion and dreamed of opening her own clothing store. Every time she was frustrated with her job as a corporate event planner, Hill said she would mentally design the store as an escape.
So when the stars aligned for her to take the space and turn dream into reality, she knew exactly what to do.
Other retailers and even shoppers raise their eyebrows at opening a store during a time when other owners are hightailing it out of the retail business.
"If I hear one more time 'I can't believe you're doing this during this economy'..." Hill said. "Because I always wanted to. It's a glorious feeling, it's really nice to achieve my goals."
Filling a gap
Two doors over, Danielle Martin never thought she would open a fashion boutique. An athlete, model and mom, her hands were plenty full, but she decried the lack of shopping opportunities in her hometown.
"There are no clothing boutiques in Rancho Santa Fe," Martin said. "I think this area needs something like this, really demands it."
So despite the economy, she too took advantage of the ideal space next to a popular day spa and opened Daniela Boutique.
From $100 tank tops to $5,000 red-carpet gowns, the boutique offers a complete spectrum of fine clothes by Italian and French designers such as D Squared, Balenciaga and Giambattista Valli.
Everything is one-of-kind, handbags have come right off the runway, and some designers have never sold in the United States before.
"All I carry is the youngest, hottest, up-and-coming designers," Martin said. "You can't get a ticket to their fashion shows in Europe."
Some shoppers may balk at the price tags, but Martin said women can come here to find that special piece that blows them away, makes them feel more confident and no one else owns.
While offering distinctly different styles, the two new shop owners hope to create a positive synergy that catches on and spreads throughout the Village with the support of the local community.
"It gives a different flavor to the Ranch, something besides real estate," Martin said.