Marissa Olson, owner of the adorable Chloe Rose Boutique on Union Street in San Francisco shares advice and insight into opening her own store and ultimately doing what she is most passionate about. Having grown up in Tahoe, California and lived/worked in both Hawaii and Los Angeles, Marissa is happy to be in the Bay Area, in the city she dreamed of one day opening her own store. A penchant for all things Missoni and a long time fashion”guru,” Marissa strives to provide her Chloe Rose customers with stylish items of the highest quality at affordable prices.
When did you decide to open your own boutique and what was your career path leading up to Chloe Rose?
I knew I wanted to open my own store after working at a small boutique in Hawaii and then later at Diane Merrick in Los Angeles while going to school at FIDM. I have always loved fashion and I enjoyed talking with and styling customers. After graduating from FIDM I moved to San Francisco and worked at Nordstrom as an Assistant Buyer. Within a few years I bought my own space and I opened Chloe Rose in September of 2010.
How did you come up with the name for your boutique?
Well, I’ve always wanted to name my daughter Chloe but it wasn’t until after visiting my cousin in Manhattan where we met a restaurant owner who had a daughter named Chloe Rose that the name instantly clicked. It’s such a girlie and chic name which represents my store perfectly.
What advice can you offer entrepreneurs looking to open their own boutique?
Do not be afraid to take risks when buying (and in life in general). While you should go with your gut instinct and never second guess your buying decisions, taking risks on certain pieces will pay off. For example, I bought this amazing Missioni inspired maxi dress from Karina Grimaldi for spring this past year. It was one of the more expensive pieces and I was nervous that it might be too sexy or too Miami/LA and pricey for the SF customer but I blew out of it. This has happened several times. Taking risks helps you as a buyer and owner to understand your customer better, to see what they react to and what they love and how far you can push the envelope. After all, isn’t that what style is all about?
The design of Chloe Rose is adorable. Can you tell us about the vision/inspiration behind the design process?
Thanks! My Brother-in-law and sister are both interior designers and my Dad is an architect so together they helped design and build my store. I knew I wanted an organic, earthy and glamorous feel yet that at the same time wasn’t overly girlie. I think the mix of mango wood and natural materials we used make for the perfect mix. The natural elements give the store a great energy!
What fall trends are you most looking forward to?
I’m happy wide leg pants are still in style and I’m excited for color. It’s nice to step outside of the usual neutral boundaries of fall. I’m most looking forward to wearing orange, cobalt blue, red and green!
What brands do you carry at Chloe Rose?
We carry MIH jeans, Gemma, Mink Pink, Cythia Steffe, Myne and Rebecca Minkoff bags. I also just started carrying a new line: Greylin which has the cutest tops, dresses and blazers. This line is well made and stylish without being too trendy. I opt to carry items that are affordable and within the $100 range.
We love Jess LC
You spend most of your time in the store but what do you enjoy doing in your free time?
I wish I had time to exercise more but I enjoy spending my free time with family in Tahoe, and my boyfriend in Marin.
How would you describe the Chloe Rose girl?
She’s picky. She is a working girl who loves clothes and admires fashion. She wants quality but not at Barney’s prices. She is trend aware but prefers classic, versatile pieces that will transition both day to night as well as work to casual.
“Live What You Love”– Glitter Girls strive for this!