Michelle Roy of Social Butterflies LA
It isn’t hard to see why Michelle Roy named her West 3rd Street boutique, “Social Butterflies.” Walking into the store feels like walking into your best girlfriend’s house – a house where you want to play dress-up in her gorgeous clothes and accessories! There are always sips and sweets on hand, and no shortage of good gossip and good fashion.
Now three years old, the store recently added 100 square feet of retail space, in addition to a back studio where Roy still designs many of the pieces herself. iphone xs case outlet uk Wander outside the space and you’ll find a tiny, hidden alleyway, where Roy recently commissioned a local artist to design a butterfly mural, perfect for those sunny-day selfies.
The vibe at Social Butterflies is decidedly flirty, with a rock-and-roll edge – not, as it seems, unlike Roy herself.
We spent an afternoon in the store with Roy to chat about her favorite trends, her “AH-HA” moment, and that rumored Kardashian connection…
Q:: How did you get started in the fashion business?
I used to wholesale my own designs to stores like Fred Segal, Lisa Kline and all the boutiques on Robertson. Prior to that, I was a trend forecaster for 13 years, and I had to shop in stores all the time. I knew that when it came time for me to start my own store, it would have to have that special boutique vibe, mixed in with my personality and all my favorite things. “Social Butterflies” is basically a store of all my favorite things.
Q:: How do you pick out the brands and items you carry?
I try to carry as many local designers as I can; a lot of these brands were started by friends of mine. I also used to work at a showroom downtown so I’ve met a lot of great designers that way, and now I have a space for them to sell and showcase their collections.
Q:: You also make a lot of the pieces here, correct?
Yes! I have a workspace in the back that I use as my design studio. I make a lot of my jewelry there. We have some fun, costume items, but most of what I use are semi-precious stones, all the way up to oxidized sterling silver and real diamonds. I also like to buy plain things, like a T-shirt or tank top, and take it up a notch in the back studio before I put it out on the floor. That might mean adding some patches or sequins, or even some fringe. outlet iphone xs case I love fringe!
Q:: Who is your typical customer?
We have a very broad customer base. iphone 8 case outlet uk We have this 90-year-old lady who buys a bracelet every time she comes into the store, but we also have the fresh-faced girls who want something unique and different from the rest of their friends. Surprisingly, we get a lot of visitors from New York and Miami… I think they’re always in line at Toast across the street and wander in while they’re waiting for a table. They think of our store as “quintessentially LA.”
Q:: What was your ‘AH-HA’ moment, when you knew opening the store was a good idea?
Since the beginning, we’ve had a lot of stylists come in, but you never know if the pieces they pull actually make it to the talent. outlet iphone 8 case I remember when this actress, Sharon Leal, came in on her own. I had seen her in Dreamgirls and was a fan. She bought one of my necklaces and wore them the next night to the NAACP Image Awards! I loved that she was shopping by herself and was actually a fan of my pieces! The same thing has happened with people like Tia Carrere and Natasha Bedingfield. They’ll come in and pick up a dress or accessory and then I’ll see them wearing it the next night on the red carpet.
Q:: There’s a Kardashian connection too, right?
Well, the Kardashians have yet to come into the store, at least to my knowledge. But we sell these beautiful, lace “bunny ear” headpieces, and Khloe Kardashian wore them in Cosmo UK. That was definitely a thrill for me.
Q:: What is your definition of a “social butterfly”?
I’ve always thought of myself as a social butterfly. I love hosting dinner parties and going out with friends. We celebrate social butterflies here at the store too! Every Thursday, we do a happy hour from 4-7pm and offer customers a 20% discount on their purchase. iphone xr case on sales Sometimes we’ll bring in a glam squad to do nails or maybe have some fun treats and snacks.
Q:: What trends are you loving right now?
I love anything fringe. I’ll put fringe on everything. This “Gypsy Boho” style is totally my thing. cheap iphone 7 case A friend recently told me that I should do a Coachella-themed event and I was like, “My whole store is Coachella!”
Q:: What about in terms of jewelry?
I think body jewelry is very popular right now. I’ll make custom body chains for people. They’ll come in, pick a design they like and I’ll fit the chains to their body type. A long chain looks great with a bathing suit, with a dress or under a blouse
Q:: What do you love most about this street?
I love how it’s a one-stop-shop for everything. iphone 7 case on sales I do Pilates on the street, my dog goes to the groomer on the street, I grab dinner here…
Q:: Favorite place to eat on West 3rd?
I go to Robata Jinya twice a week for their baked crab hand roll and those little skewers.