This past April, Peri Arenas opened her second California boutique with Peri.A; a multi-brand concept store located on Robertson Boulevard. The opening of Peri.A comes after her Veri Peri pop-up shop at the Parker Palm Springs, the desert resort that was founded by her grandfather, Jack Parker. Now, Arenas is banking on her fun, kitschy style and eye for both new and old pieces that can’t be found elsewhere in the West Hollywood neighborhood as her formula to modeling a mini Colette – without the name brands. Colette, being the iconic Parisian boutique known for collaborating with both high-end and streetwear brands for highly coveted collections is what Arenas describes as her direction for the store. “If you come in, I’m kind of like a very mini Colette, without the name brands” says Arenas. “I’m all about thinking outside the box rather than being like everybody else. That’s really what I’m about.”
Peri.A features a slew of new and emerging European and Asian brands like Shrimps, Huishan Zhang, Mira Mikati and Rahul Mishra, as well as reworked or painted vintage Hermes and Chanel bags. “When you come to my store or leave my store, one of the things that I want [you] to say is ‘oh my god, that’s so much fun’ says the owner. And odds are that you will. The playfully chic décor and Peri.A-exclusive merch – like pens that say ‘This Is My Peri.A Pen, Get Your Own” and receipt envelopes that say “Pay Up, Honey” certainly add to the boutique’s aesthetic in addition to the store’s merchandise. “That’s basically me, I love to have fun in a classy way.” Says Arena.
In addition to the Peri.A exclusive knick-knacks, the boutique sells current season ready to wear, jewelry and accessories collections “Like Maxfield, but not as dark” says Arenas. In addition to vintage Louis Vuitton bags that have been reworked and Chanel and Hermes bags that have been painted by a Paris-based graffiti artist. The store’s price-point starts at $55 USD for a t-shirt and expands into four digit price tags for certain luxury pieces.When talking about how she’s developed her relationships with the brands that she sells in her store, Arenas’ tactic is a nose to the grindstone type of perseverance. The owner tells us how she reaches out to designers she would like to sell in her boutique, shares the success of her Veri Peri pop-up and is persistent in arranging a meeting. “So basically, I would email a brand that I want and some of the bigger name brands want to know who you’ve carried in the past and sometimes it takes perseverance. What I’ll do is email and tell them about Veri Peri and some particular brands would want to wait until I was opened for a few months. With some perseverance, I finally got [them] to see me [in their showrooms] this past June." Shares Arenas.
"Sometimes you go, they want to meet you and sometimes they let you look around and if they don’t like you, they’ll say ‘lets keep in contact, call us next time.’ This has happened, too. If they don’t like you then they’re not going to sell to you. We got them and I’m really happy. We have 20 new brands that are coming in the fall.”
Arenas’ steadfast persistence didn’t just help her to create her relationships with designers carried in her store but with the company that has helped make her branding dreams become a reality, as well. LOVE Creative, the England-based advertising and branding agency that has helped develop impressive campaigns for a roster of clients that includes the likes of Adidas, Nike, Vans and Johnnie Walker, was an admitted reach for Arenas when searching for her perfect branding match.“I was afraid that they would never contact me because they [do] very big brands. I wrote them an email and one girl found the email and I guess said ‘lets call her and speak to her,’" says Arenas.
"We spoke on the phone for forty-five minutes and when we spoke they said ‘it sounds like you want to do something kind of like Colette.’ And I said ‘oh my god, finally.’"
“Last September I went to Paris and they spent the entire day with me to get me and understand who I was and they keep quoting me on saying ‘Just brand the shit out of me.’ …And that’s what they did, they did a really good job.” LOVE Creative is responsible for helping develop Arenas’ image including the eye-catching Peri.A merch, the look of her site and more.
Peri. A. Photo Courtesy of SoCal MagazineAccording to the boutique’s owner, her target market is, well – everyone – and everybody that walks through the doors wants in. She tells us about the countless New Yorker customers that tell her to open a location in New York, “So many New Yorkers come in and say ‘you should open up in New York” according to Arenas, who is actually a former New Yorker, having moved to California just four years ago. And then, there are the men that want her to expand into menswear, “I have so many men that come in and want me to do men, eventually I think I probably will. I will probably gradually go into that, but very small scale.” But as far as plans for the immediate future, Arenas is relying on the store’s not-yet-launched e-commerce site as her pathway for growth and expansion.
“I’m going to be doing a website, that’s enough. Hopefully in [the fall] this will get running, it won’t have everything, we’ll have to start out with 20 brands and go slowly. I’m sure eventually, if it takes off and does well, I’ll have to get a small warehouse somewhere. That’s where the ultimate goal is, to have a very happening website” she says.
If you’re not a resident of Hollywood, be sure to follow Peri.A on Instagram @periarobertson to add some kitsch to your feed and to get notified when Peri.A’s ecomm cite becomes available so that you can purchase some of your very own Peri.A goods.
Photo Courtesy of The Drum
The Quick 10
1. What app do you most use?
2. Briefly describe your morning routine.
Brush my teeth, Coffee, Answer emails, Exercise, Dress, Go to work !
3. Name a business mogul you admire.
4. What product do you wish you had invented?
5. What is your spirit animal?
6. What is your life motto?
What will be…will be!
7. Name your favorite work day snack.
8. Every business/entrepreneur (you pick one, then fill in the blank) must be _____to be successful.
In love with what they do and work really hard…
9. What’s the most inspiring place you’ve traveled to?
10. Desert Island. Three things, go.
Family, hat, Sudoku.
For decades, women have been unknowingly suffering from PSD and intergenerational trauma, but now Dr. Valerie Rein wants women to reclaim their power through mind, body and healing tools.
As women, no matter how many accomplishments we have or how successful we look on the outside, we all occasionally hear that nagging internal voice telling us to do more. We criticize ourselves more than anyone else and then throw ourselves into the never-ending cycle of self-care, all in effort to save ourselves from crashing into this invisible internal wall. According to psychologist, entrepreneur and author, Dr. Valerie Rein, these feelings are not your fault and there is nothing wrong with you— but chances are you definitely suffering from Patriarchy Stress Disorder.
Patriarchy Stress Disorder (PSD) is defined as the collective inherited trauma of oppression that forms an invisible inner barrier to women's happiness and fulfillment. The term was coined by Rein who discovered a missing link between trauma and the effects that patriarchal power structures have had on certain groups of people all throughout history up until the present day. Her life experience, in addition to research, have led Rein to develop a deeper understanding of the ways in which men and women are experiencing symptoms of trauma and stress that have been genetically passed down from previously oppressed generations.
What makes the discovery of this disorder significant is that it provides women with an answer to the stresses and trauma we feel but cannot explain or overcome. After being admitted to the ER with stroke-like symptoms one afternoon, when Rein noticed the left side of her body and face going numb, she was baffled to learn from her doctors that the results of her tests revealed that her stroke-like symptoms were caused by stress. Rein was then left to figure out what exactly she did for her clients in order for them to be able to step into the fullness of themselves that she was unable to do for herself. "What started seeping through the tears was the realization that I checked all the boxes that society told me I needed to feel happy and fulfilled, but I didn't feel happy or fulfilled and I didn't feel unhappy either. I didn't feel much of anything at all, not even stress," she stated.
Photo Courtesy of Dr. Valerie Rein
This raised the question for Rein as to what sort of hidden traumas women are suppressing without having any awareness of its presence. In her evaluation of her healing methodology, Rein realized that she was using mind, body and trauma healing tools with her clients because, while they had never experienced a traumatic event, they were showing the tell-tale symptoms of trauma which are described as a disconnect from parts of ourselves, body and emotions. In addition to her personal evaluation, research at the time had revealed that traumatic experiences are, in fact, passed down genetically throughout generations. This was Rein's lightbulb moment. The answer to a very real problem that she, and all women, have been experiencing is intergenerational trauma as a result of oppression formed under the patriarchy.
Although Rein's discovery would undoubtably change the way women experience and understand stress, it was crucial that she first broaden the definition of trauma not with the intention of catering to PSD, but to better identify the ways in which trauma presents itself in the current generation. When studying psychology from the books and diagnostic manuals written exclusively by white men, trauma was narrowly defined as a life-threatening experience. By that definition, not many people fit the bill despite showing trauma-like symptoms such as disconnections from parts of their body, emotions and self-expression. However, as the field of psychology has expanded, more voices have been joining the conversations and expanding the definition of trauma based on their lived experience. "I have broadened the definition to say that any experience that makes us feel unsafe psychically or emotionally can be traumatic," stated Rein. By redefining trauma, people across the gender spectrum are able to find validation in their experiences and begin their journey to healing these traumas not just for ourselves, but for future generations.
While PSD is not experienced by one particular gender, as women who have been one of the most historically disadvantaged and oppressed groups, we have inherited survival instructions that express themselves differently for different women. For some women, this means their nervous systems freeze when faced with something that has been historically dangerous for women such as stepping into their power, speaking out, being visible or making a lot of money. Then there are women who go into fight or flight mode. Although they are able to stand in the spotlight, they pay a high price for it when their nervous system begins to work in a constant state of hyper vigilance in order to keep them safe. These women often find themselves having trouble with anxiety, intimacy, sleeping or relaxing without a glass of wine or a pill. Because of this, adrenaline fatigue has become an epidemic among high achieving women that is resulting in heightened levels of stress and anxiety.
"For the first time, it makes sense that we are not broken or making this up, and we have gained this understanding by looking through the lens of a shared trauma. All of these things have been either forbidden or impossible for women. A woman's power has always been a punishable offense throughout history," stated Rein.
Although the idea of having a disorder may be scary to some and even potentially contribute to a victim mentality, Rein wants people to be empowered by PSD and to see it as a diagnosis meant to validate your experience by giving it a name, making it real and giving you a means to heal yourself. "There are still experiences in our lives that are triggering PSD and the more layers we heal, the more power we claim, the more resilience we have and more ability we have in staying plugged into our power and happiness. These triggers affect us less and less the more we heal," emphasized Rein. While the task of breaking intergenerational transmission of trauma seems intimidating, the author has flipped the negative approach to the healing journey from a game of survival to the game of how good can it get.
In her new book, Patriarchy Stress Disorder: The Invisible Barrier to Women's Happiness and Fulfillment, Rein details an easy system for healing that includes the necessary tools she has sourced over 20 years on her healing exploration with the pioneers of mind, body and trauma resolution. Her 5-step system serves to help "Jailbreakers" escape the inner prison of PSD and other hidden trauma through the process of Waking Up in Prison, Meeting the Prison Guards, Turning the Prison Guards into Body Guards, Digging the Tunnel to Freedom and Savoring Freedom. Readers can also find free tools on Rein's website to help aid in their healing journey and exploration.
"I think of the book coming out as the birth of a movement. Healing is not women against men– it's women, men and people across the gender spectrum, coming together in a shared understanding that we all have trauma and we can all heal."