#SWAAYthenarrative
Peri Arenas. Photo Courtesy of WebJosh

This Boutique Is Challenging The Boundaries Of Brick And Mortar

Lifestyle

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 Magazine

According 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?

Instagram

2. Briefly describe your morning routine.

Brush my teeth, Coffee, Answer emails, Exercise, Dress, Go to work !

3. Name a business mogul you admire.

Jack Parker.

4. What product do you wish you had invented?

Computer

5. What is your spirit animal?

Lion

6. What is your life motto?

What will be…will be!

7. Name your favorite work day snack.

Vanilla latte

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?

South Africa

10. Desert Island. Three things, go.

Family, hat, Sudoku.

3 min read
Lifestyle

Help! I’m Dating a Jerk!

Email armchairpsychologist@swaaymedia.com to get the advice you need!

Help! I'm Dating a Jerk!

Dear Armchair Psychologist,
I've been dating my boyfriend for a year. After spending some vacation time with him and realizing he is not treating me the way I like I'm wondering — what do I do? I need him to be kinder and softer to me but he says simply, "chivalry is not his thing." I believe when two people decide to be together they need to adjust to each other. I don't think or feel my boyfriend is adjusting to what's important to me. Should I try to explain to him what's important to me, accept him for what he is, or leave him as I'm just not happy and the little gestures are important to me?
- Loveless Woman

Dear Loveless Woman,

I am saddened you aren't getting your needs met in your relationship. Intimacy and affection are important to sustain a healthy relationship. It's troubling that even though you have expressed your needs to your boyfriend that it's fallen on deaf ears. You need to explore, with a therapist, why you have sought out this type of relationship and why you have stayed in it, even when it's making you chronically unhappy? Your belief that couples should adjust to each other is correct to some degree. These things often include compromising and bending on things like who gets the bigger closet or where to go for dinner. However, it's a tall order to ask someone to change their personality and if your boyfriend is indeed a jerk, like you say, who refuses to acknowledge your love language or express kindness and softness, then maybe you should find a partner who will embrace you while being chivalrous.

- The Armchair Psychologist

Update to HELP! My Date is Uncircumcised and I'm Grossed Out!

Hi Armchair Psychologist,
Just wanted to let you know that your article was really offensive to read. Do you refer to women's genitals as: "gross," "ghasty," "smelly," or otherwise? Humans are not perfect, each of us is different and you should emphasize this. I hope that man finds a partner that will love and accept him rather than tearing him down. Which gender has a whole aisle devoted to their "special" hygiene needs? I can tell you it's not men.
With love,
Male Reader

Dear Male Reader,

Thank you for your thoughtful feedback to my Armchair Psychologist column. My email response bounced so am writing you here. I am so sorry I offended you. It wasn't my intention. I actually meant to be sardonic and make the writer see how ridiculous she sounded for the harsh language she used to describe her date. I obviously failed at this sneer since you think I meant to be offensive. Many apologies. I'll do better. Have a wonderful day and keep writing us with your thoughts.

- Ubah, The Armchair Psychologist

Need more armchair psychologist in your life? Check out the last installment or email armchairpsychologist@swaaymedia.com to get some advice of your own!