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Elyse Walker has been synonymous with LA shopping since her first store opening in the Pacific Palisades in 1999. She’s a retail genius who has been able to parlay her savvy into multiple locations that specialize in that sort of California cool that we’re all after. Elyse leads with her business sense and heart and through her styling services and smart merchandise curation, has been able to grow and sustain a seriously loyal customer base both in person and online. Whenever we need something, we always find ourselves going back to her stores, checking in with our favorite stylists, and taking home something that we know we will love.
MELISSA: Things are a little different right now, we’re in an unprecedented time…how have you shifted as a business and as an individual to accommodate this new normal?
ELYSE: Safety has never been more important than it is today. At our stores, we have taken great precautions to ensure that our team and our clients remain in a healthy and safe environment. Over the years, our business and relationships have evolved and now more than ever, we are working directly with clients via our memo program, in which we deliver personalized, carefully curated, and styled head to toe looks directly to their homes.
MELISSA: You’ve been at the forefront of brick and mortar boutique shopping in LA since you opened your doors in the Palisades over 20 years ago. With all of the distractions in the world how have you maintained your core customers?
ELYSE: I opened my first store in Pacific Palisades in 1999. Since then, the original store has expanded 6 times and we have opened 3 additional locations- in Newport Beach, Bel Air and a second store location in Pacific Palisades. I still have clients from my hometown of Scarsdale (to whom I used to sell shoes in the early 1980’s) when I worked at my mom’s shoe store. I am a very sentimental, loyal person and take pride in never ever forgetting my clients.
MELISSA: Your boutiques offer incredible customer care and bespoke styling. The styling service truly sets you apart too—what led you to implementing it?
ELYSE: Our styling service came about organically. There was really no strategy behind it. My parents taught me that every customer and every sale counts – no matter how big or how small. After two decades, the styling service has grown into an official styling program but it has been the foundation of our company since day one.
MELISSA: What are some of your daily particulars that you always put on (jewelry, accessories…etc.)? …this could be pre-social distancing or what you are doing now
ELYSE: Right now I am wearing my Zoe Chicco diamond necklace. I layer that piece in with a few other necklaces. I’m into yellow gold at the moment, but that changes constantly. When I was little, my best friend’s mom was driving us to the public pool and she said to me, “if you go into the pool with all your jewelry on, you’ll sink”. Since my early childhood, I have been layering and stacking jewelry.
MELISSA: With fall here, what’s next?
ELYSE: My buying team and I are almost done placing orders for the upcoming Spring Summer 2021 collections. We are also opening a new elysewalker location in Calabasas early next year and have our eyes on two other retail projects so stay tuned!