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Fashion stylist opens Lily Love boutique in Playa del Rey

By Kamala Kirk

Sara Lashkari is a stylist and founder of Lily Love Boutique.
Photo by Luis Chavez

Sara Lashkari has loved fashion for as long as she can remember. At the age of 5, she loved to play with dolls and draw dresses. After graduating from university in her native Canada, she moved to South Korea to teach English for two years. During her time abroad, Lashkari noticed how advanced fashion was in Asia, which sparked her interest in pursuing a career in the industry.

I noticed that all of the clothes I saw in Korea arrived in Canada five years later, says Lashkari. I couldn’t believe how trendy they were. It really inspired me to want to do something in this area.

10 years ago she moved from Canada to the United States and embarked on a successful career as a stylist working in TV production and commercials, as well as personal and celebrity styling. After Lashkaris’ mother passed away in 2018, she decided to make her dream of opening a clothing store come true, something her mother had always known she wanted to do.

My mother was Persian, and her name translated into English as Lily, Lashkari explains. I wanted to integrate it into my new business, so I imagined Lily Love Boutique.

Lily Love Boutique launched online in July, then Lashkari opened its brick and mortar boutique in October in Playa del Rey. It had planned to open in March, but COVID-19 struck and its plans were delayed.

It’s been a whirlwind and there have been ups and downs, but I decided I had no choice but to try to open my doors, Lashkari says. Once I built some online traction I set a date and opened the store.

Located in the center of Playa del Rey, Lily Love Boutique offers a variety of stylish and affordable clothing, accessories and jewelry for women of all ages. Due to her experience working in the fashion industry, Lashkari hand selects versatile and comfortable pieces that she knows her customers will love.

I spend a lot of time finding things that I really think people will like and have found a lot of things from different vendors in the city center where I walk around and see the items and fabrics in person, Lashkari shares . I try to find new styles every month and try to find more brands designed in LA.

Current fashion trends include comfortable and soft loungewear sets, cardigans, sherpa jackets and plush coats. Another popular item is the slightly oversized shirt-jacket hybrid shacketa, which Lashkari quickly sold out of.

Another thing customers love about Lily Love Boutique is the extra input that Lashkari provides, the product of her previous experience as a stylist. She also has an Instagram account @_saralista_ where she shares her latest outfits and style ideas.

A woman came by the other day and thought that a particular item wouldn’t suit her, but I encouraged her to try it and she ended up buying it, Lashkari says. I like putting together complete outfits on the mannequins to show off the different ways things can be worn together to give my clients ideas. I like to help other women look and feel great.

Lashkari also offers private shopping appointments for those who want a more personalized experience and all of its merchandise is available online for those who cannot visit in person. It ships internationally and has sold to customers as far away as Ireland and Australia.

Everyone who comes here is really happy that there is an affordable clothing store in the neighborhood, says Lashkari. They told me that this is exactly what it takes in this area and that they love the ambiance, which is always nice to hear. I would like to be the must-see store in the city and in the future I would like to organize events. I have already organized several virtual events where I have raised funds for charities. My mom has always loved giving back and that’s something I want to keep doing too.

For more information, visit lilyloveboutique.com and follow on Instagram: @ lilylove.boutique.

8125 B W. Manchester Ave., Playa del Rey, 323-373-5490

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