Saturday, February 28, 2009

Baby Babaloo

Reviewed by: April

This is a great little gem of a boutique located in Mission Viejo. Baby Babaloo feels like it was plucked right out of the hip boutique lined streets of San Francisco. There are plenty of great unusual finds for baby, but what will make your heart race is the impressive collection of jewelry displayed rather casually throughout the store. This is not a place to dash in and out of! Take your time and uncover stylish maternity clothes (including the MOST amazing nursing lingerie ever - you have to see it to believe it!), and enjoy your experience even more with owner Helen as your guide. Her passion for finding unusual and useful products is impressive, and she always has a great story behind the products in the store. For someone who finds themselves staring at the same 4 lines in every boutique, this store will be a breath of fresh retail air. Pick up a coffee, and escape into the shop for a bit, and you can bring the kids with you - they have an area just for them - and usually their kids are there for added entertainment!

A Bit of Boutiquing Wisdom: Baby Babaloo is on facebook, and they are offering their first 50 fans 50% off of one item in the store...(excluding Petunia Picklebottoms)...HURRY, they had 33 fans last time I checked!

Baby Babaloo
24000 Alicia Parkway
Mission Viejo, CA 92691
phone 949.587.1400

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Show Me The Money... or Some New Clothes

Is your closet full of clothes but you have nothing to wear? What's a girl to do in today's economy?! Ever thought of cleaning out the closest and dropping it off at an upscale consignment boutique? For those of you who haven't, I'm about to be your best friend just for mentioning it.

I got turned onto Twice the Style in Costa Mesa a few years ago and now several of my girlfriends are avid consigners. Not only do I love shopping at this most adorable boutique (I know, it kind of defeats the purpose, but I consider it free shopping and you get amazing deals on designer pieces) I love returning for money even more! My measure for success is determined by my ability to walk out with "the green" and I don't even remember what I dropped off.

Do your clothes have to be designer? No. But theses upscale boutiques are selective and they are looking for seasonal, trendy, brand name pieces in good condition.

Many of the boutiques donate portions of their profits to different non-profit organizations dedicated to helping women. Check out

Experience Speaking:
Wash and iron all your pieces before showing up at the boutique. Keep all items possible on hangers because they show better and look less like a old pile ready to be dropped off at Goodwill. Different boutiques have different policies for receiving merchandise so call ahead to see if they require an appointment.

I'd love to hear about your experience...even better, tell me what you bought with the money you made!

Bellissima Couture Resale Boutique

2850 E Coast Hwy
Corona Del Mar, CA 92625

Chez Elle Resale Boutique
3601 Jamboree Rd Ste 7
Newport Beach, CA 92660

Lilies & Lilacs Designer Consignment Boutique
22342 El Paseo Suite H Rancho
Santa Margarita, CA 92688

Repeat Boutique
370 E 17th St Ste F
Costa Mesa, CA 92627

Twice The Style
369 E 17TH
Costa Mesa, CA 92627

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Is Any One Else Bothered?!

By: Erin Hall @ Boutiquing

In the last two months I visited Dallas, Texas and Tulsa, Oklahoma. Now you must understand, I love going to new places, I love to experience the culture, the food and the shopping…ohhhh the shopping. But my travel excitement was instantly quenched when besides the dry, flat landscape; I realized it looked so similar to Orange County. Everywhere my eyes landed, it was the same visual, shopping center after shopping center full of large retail and food chain stores. I began to question the anger rising up on the inside of me. Why was this bothering me so much??

I was bothered because these large chains are pushing out the mom and pop small businesses. Everywhere you turn a small business is closing its doors while another T.J. Maxx opens up. You must understand I’m an avid supporter of small businesses, partially due to principal and partially due to selfishness. I like supporting someone’s dream, time and passion and that’s what I believe small business’ represent. I get excited when the owner/chef of restaurant personally comes out to my table and introduces himself and his food as if you were dining in his own home. I get excited when I’m able to purchase a one of a kind vintage Vatican coin necklace in a small boutique while the owner tells me about the designer whom hand makes each piece.

I am bothered because I think we are being robbed of experiences, connection and originality in exchange for systems, streamlining and profits. I don’t want to travel to a new city just to eat and shop at the same places I can at home. I want to create memories and acquire unique pieces. I want to wear jewelry that is noticeably different. I want to eat food that takes my taste buds on a journey with new flavors; I can’t do that in a sea of mass-produced locations.

A friend who is from Tulsa and an avid shopper recommended Utica Square in Tulsa as a shopping destination, so of course I eagerly anticipated my arrival. In my mind I pictured a cute little section of downtown Tulsa littered with one of a kind shops. As we parked in front of Starbucks instantly my excitement turned to disappointment when I saw Banana Republic, Saks, Pier One, Bath and Body Works, White House Black Market, American Eagle and Ann Taylor just to name a unique few (I can be quite facetious). There are great products in all of these stores, yes, but I wanted a boutiquing experience and I was irritated because I didn’t know where to go to find what I was looking for.

That’s the problem! The small businesses are hard to find. They don’t have a budget for large websites or expensive retail locations. They aren’t on Google and the hotel concierge doesn’t know where to find them. As a manager of 3 upscale boutiques in Orange County for five years, I know how hard it is to connect a searching customer with a unique boutique. I myself would become so frustrated when looking for new shopping ventures outside the mall. So here is our mission, to locate, promote and detail all boutiques, big, small, hidden and known. Starting with Orange County and then expanding, we will not stop till you know where to find all the best boutiquing experiences. Help us keep "Boutiquing" alive and well by supporting the boutiques and informing us of any that have missed our list.