The Shop Serves Fashion to Laguna

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Maybe it’s the sea air, the salty waves, or just the fact that we live in one of the most beautiful places in the world, but women in Southern California have a certain je ne sais quoi that fashionistas around the world can only attempt to emulate. From high-profile black tie dinner parties to sandy bikinis and cover ups, us Cali girls run the full gamut of style, sometimes all in one day. And for our everyday looks, it’s hard to find anything better than the styles at The Shop.

For Jessica Watson, the boutique’s co-owner and founder, having a spot of her own where women could come to hang out, talk fashion, and find their own beach-minded aesthetic has always been the goal. “The Shop has been a dream of mine since I can remember,” Watson explains. 

“I envisioned a place that felt like home. I didn’t feel any store at the time represented what I loved most: the beach lifestyle and effortless fashion. It’s a place where the surf vibes live and fashion collide, capturing that feeling of summer all year round.”

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Originally from Laguna Beach she could see no other home for her surf-meets-style vision to come to life. “I was born and raised in Laguna, so The Shop’s flagship could be nowhere else!” she exclaims with a smile. Today, she recreates the beachy SoCal feeling for the fashionable women of Laguna Beach (of all ages) who come to The Shop for surf-ready brands like Billabong, Spell & The Gypsy, Indah, and L*Space, as well as their own brand, a collaboration with Keen the Label.

Of course, keeping up with the ever-changing climate of women’s fashion is a constant struggle to stay relevant, even within such a niche style. “Women’s fashion changes over night. Social media has changed so many things within this business, good and bad,” Watson states as she describes the tough balance between keeping up-to-date on the latest looks, while simultaneously making sure her business stays in check and being a working mom.

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It’s all worth it for the entrepreneur though, as the hard work and passion she puts into her work can be seen not only in her highly-curated selection, but also in the way she connects with women who come into her boutique. “The most rewarding thing is seeing how much I can make a woman feel good and confident,” says Watson. “The ladies that come in to buy a blouse from me and then again the next day to tell me how much their husband loved the color on them. It’s what makes it all so rewarding!” 

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Marissa Stempien is a freelance editor and writer that loves a good day at the beach. With a degree in English Literature and a minor in Asian Studies, she has written on travel, fashion, beauty, technology, culture, and food, and enjoys writing short stories in her spare time. Find her on social media at @paperandlights.

Photos by: Grant Puckett.