We all know I have an affinity for vintage. I am obsessed with puffed sleeves, intricate laces, and gold lame! What’s really special about vintage finds is that they are done with a craftsmanship we rarely see in current times. I love knowing that when I wear my vintage dresses, I won’t have to worry about seeing someone else in the same outfit. There is also something whimsical and important about statement pieces, and the best ones can be found at Happy Isles Salon. This incredibly well-curated shop, is about the experience. You go and select from a wide assortment of dresses, jewels and accessories and play the best dress-up imaginable. It’s like being a kid in a candy store, for a vintage lover like myself. You leave the salon with a complete look, head to toe, with pieces that will never go out of style.
How many years have you been in business in LA?
We have been in business for a year and a half!
How did you get your start and what was your initial inspiration?
I've always been a die-hard for vintage. I got my start at Resurrection in 2012, post college, worked for years as an event producer (where I got all my pre-mature grays), and after that craziness, I knew it was time to go off on my own and pursue the Happy Isles dream, aka shop for a living. My inspiration is and will always be my love for women and seeing them happy/actualized. I'm convinced that there's an inner showgirl in all of us, and it's my honor and duty to hunt for the vintage that brings that spirit out.
What do you feel differentiates you from others in your field?
I'm a pretty picky person, so I try to keep my collection as refined as possible. I try to buy only super wearable pieces, and only stock things that are in excellent condition. I'm also really proud of the experience that we create in-store. Appointments are one-at-a-time, the dressing room is massive, and all the tasty beverages are available. It's a relaxing home away from home. Luxury is leisure, people!
What do you feel gives you longevity in this big city with so many options?
At the end of the day, the passion is the longevity. Happy Isles feeds me creatively. Everyday I'm inspired by something new and beautiful, and everyday I'm meeting new incredible women. Can't think of better things to keep me moving forward.
How do you positively impact your clientele?
Especially for HI bridal clients, we offer a selection that hasn't really been out there before. We're providing new opportunities through fashion for women to feel like their best most realized selves during one of the most special occasions in their lives.
What is your favorite part of your job?
Ultimately, I live for the buying. My love affair with vintage is so real, and coming across that needle-in-a-haystack piece is almost mystical. Having those right-place-right-time kismet moments is thrilling and satisfying on a soul level for me. Icing on the cake is seeing those one-of-a-kind pieces go home with a new mom - knowing justice will be done on some fabulous dance floor somewhere.
What is your favorite secret LA spot?
My favorite secret spot in LA is the Los Angeles Tennis Club. Best crispy bacon in the city.
How do you benefit mamas?
Some of my favorite days at the salon are the ones when we get the babies and the strollers (my ovaries right now are going bonkers, GIVE ME THE BABIES). Of course the salon is a space for women, so hopefully it's a place where moms feel they can relax and be pampered. And there's always a great caftan for a preggo.
What is the most memorable feedback a client has given you?
Honestly, anytime someone walks in and says how comfortable and inspired they feel at the shop. It means the world to know that I've created a space where people feel excited and at home.
Pay it forward and name your top colleagues in the same field or related field.
Christy Baird at LOHO Bride (@loho_bride) is a true superstar woman. Her ethic pervades everything she does, and her manner is so authentically warm. She's been a real gem to get to know. In the vintage world, I gotta give a shout out to Richard Wainwright who does New/Found (@new_found) but also is the master captain of A Current Affair (@acurrentaffair). He's really killing it and doing the whole vintage world a solid.
What is the best advice anyone's ever given you? Or what is your "mantra" / words to live by?
Oh man! I've had some really great mantras the last few years. The one that really got me through the whole building phase of Happy Isles is "I'm getting everything that I want, I'm getting everything that I need." It's a helpful mindset to have when something goes off kilter - that obviously there is an important lesson to learn in the process of something not going as planned. You can't hate on learning, even if it hurts sometimes! And when things are going as planned, the mantra helps to affirm that feeling of gratefulness. It's just an all around good one for trusting the Universe and the challenges life throws at you.
As moms, the day can escape us, what is your best time-saving trick?
Welp, not a mom yet BUT the smoothie thing is a great time saver. Breakfast + driving = important. ALSO, my amazing boyfriend assisting with all the at-home minutia.