Like clothing, jewelry, and supporting local artists? SoCal Queen, the newest addition to La Jolla’s women’s boutique family, prides itself on selling unique and locally-sourced versions of all three and specializes in clothing sizes 12 and up. Benthe Fahr, owner and brains behind the business, is a Connecticut native but diehard La Jolla fan at heart who’s lived in San Diego for almost 30 years. La Jolla Blue Book headed over to SoCal Queen to chat with Benthe and get a firsthand look at her thriving storefront.
What initially attracted Benthe to La Jolla was its “creative spirit,” something she immediately noticed upon moving to San Diego. La Jolla has an artistic and imaginative presence, and it was those qualities she chose to tap into to create a personality for her store; as soon as you step through the threshold, the vivid paintings on the walls and small tables set up with colorful jewelry radiate a creative and comfortable aura. Even the decorations are native – Benthe commissions artists from all over San Diego to sell pieces in her store. She also regularly holds meet-and-greets with the artists themselves, an added bonus that gives the little storefront an even more personalized touch. A few examples of included artists are the pottery and crafts of Richard White, paintings by Ce’sar Palacio, and handmade baskets by Michelle Howard.
The clothing, however, is one thing that Benthe acquires from all over: France, different parts of the United States, and the Netherlands, to name a few. She’ll often go to clothing expos and order her stock from there, and she personally picks out every item that she carries in the shop. And the attention to detail is evident! “So many women come in here already pessimistic, feeling like they won’t be able to find anything that is cute, fits them well, and is reasonably priced,” Benthe said when asked what her driving motivation for opening was. “Shopping for slightly larger sizes can be frustrating, and my goal is to make that a better experience.”
Much of the jewelry offered at SoCal Queen is actually Reiki-infused (Reiki is an ancient Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing) and crafted with specific stones and beads to promote particular energies. Lapis, amethyst, malachite, and turquoise are among the many options, and most of her stock is on display at the store as well as online.
Though it’s only been open 10 months, SoCalQueen is a fashion-forward, artistically-oriented and locally sourced store that is worth a visit. Few stores place such an emphasis on local artists, and it is refreshing to see such a one-of-a-kind take on the traditional boutique clothing store.
SoCal Queen is located at 1010 Torrey Pines Avenue, and is open Mondays-Saturdays from 10am-6pm and Sundays from 11am-4pm.
Don’t miss the upcoming event at SoCal Queen on June 21st! Celebrate the summer solstice with food, drink, jewelry, and demonstrations by Mallory Vale, a local custom jewelry designer. Head over to the store’s website for more information.
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