My Adventure in a Girly Heaven: Q&A with Eleanor Jean Boutique

One beautiful day last month I was doing a little window shopping on Ventura Blvd. in Sherman Oaks, CA which led me to a little pink shop called Eleanor Jean. At first glance I saw a beauty salon, noting their services on the door, but when I looked closer I saw a sparkling array of my most coveted brands in makeup, skincare, hair accessories and more in a store that made me feel like went to girly girl heaven. A girly, tasteful and elegant heaven. Just think pink, robin’s egg blue, crystal chandeliers and gumdrop candy…

Image via Eleanor Jean Boutique

I was greeted by one of the lovely employees and took my time walking around to look at all of the wonderful products. My eyes lit up in excitement when I saw the gorgeous display of my favorite hair accessories company, Ban.do. Until that day I had only ever seen the product online. I also quickly noticed that they sold the fantastic Apple&Bee and MOR soaps which I recently featured. I decided right then and there that I needed to meet the owner of this fabulous place. I got in touch with the owner, Jacey Kassabian, and set up a time for me to come down to the shop to interview her and take a few pictures of her store and products.

Don’t miss Jacey’s fantastic makeup and skincare tips in the last question! ♥

Recently voted #1 by The Knot’s Best of Weddings 2012, Eleanor Jean Boutique is half beauty salon and half boutique located in Sherman Oaks, CA. They carry fantastic lines such as Tocca, Ban.do, Rosie Jane, Tarte, Voluspa and more. They offer beauty services such as lash extensions, facials, makeup, nails, waxing, sugaring, airbrush tanning and more. You can even book your very own party for your and your closest gal pals.

The newest addition? A vintage pink camper for parties on the go! It’s so lovely inside, I wanted to take a nap in there at the end of the interview.

And away we go…

Love and Rosen: Can you give us a little background on yourself and your experience?

Jacey: I started doing makeup 12 years ago. I moved out here straight from college in Alabama. Packed up everything that I owned in my car, came out and signed up at Joe Blasco Makeup School. I modeled growing up and always loved how the makeup and hairstylists would transform you and make you feel great. I was pretty gawky growing up and they always made me feel great. When I got out of college I knew that was what I wanted to do. I started working in film and TV and one of my jobs I was on I had to airbrush because everything was moving to high-def. So I went to Dinair for airbrush makeup. After a few years of doing film and TV I got tired of the hours and being in prosthetic labs building body parts… Special effects was fun but not really my calling. So I changed over to beauty and glamour and started working with California Pageant Circuit doing hair and makeup for the contestants for over 7 years. I’ve also been a makeup artist and hairstylist with Playboy for about 8 years.

L&R: What led you to open a store?

Jacey: In the mix of this brides have always been my bread and butter. I love my brides. It’s really what led me to open a store. Brides always need gifts or want a place to have a party. I opened my first store called Belle in Beverly Hills 6 years ago. Loved it but it wasn’t quite the right area for me so I re-evaluated, got pregnant and had my son. Then I decided to open up two stores in Charleston, South Carolina. The reason I chose Charleston is because it’s actually the #2 wedding destination in the US. So we had a huge bridal business and we did nails, hair, lashes… We did everything under the sun there. Things were going great and I decided to open this location last Valentine’s Day. This one took off so fast and got so busy that I wasn’t able to fly back to Charleston anymore. I sold those and now I just have this one. This one is my favorite. It’s my baby. It’s named after my Grandmother.

Jacey's Beautiful Grandmother, Eleanor Jean

L&R: I’d love to know more about your Grandmother. What is she like?

Jacey: She was raised in Macon, Georgia and she’s my best friend. She’s always, no matter what shes going through or where she’s been, great at making friends. Her hair was always permed, make-up always done, outfits were impeccable no matter what was going on on the inside. That’s why I wanted to name the store after her. She’s been out here several times and helped to come up with the names of a lot of the services we offer such as The Elizabeth Taylor and The Debutant. She’s the inspiration for this store and the camper outside. I’m kind of living through her and her through me. We try to give anyone that comes in a little southern hospitality. A lot of the lines that we carry have been not only some my favorites but some of her favorites over the years.We carry really unique and hard to find products…

L&R: What is the process you go through to find these amazing products?

Jacey: I go back to the South 3 or 4 times a year and spend a few days doing a boutique tour in Alabama, New Orleans and North West Florida to see what they are carrying. They go to different markets than we do out here. I go to the LA Market for fillers but I prefer to get out buy something and try the product myself. It’s more personal that way. I found all of the facial lines by doing this. I will buy something, love it and sell it in the store. I can say everything in here I’ve personally tried and used. Everything has a personal touch. It’s all my personality and my taste.

L&R: What do you look for in a product? Are there check-lists you go through?

Jacey: I like anything with pure essential oils and pure perfumer scents. Anything that is a true scent. I don’t like cheap sugary based products because I’m a perfumer. It’s OK in a lip gloss but not moisturizer or face cream. I like anything organic and vegan because it’s safe for people’s skin. All of our nail and facial lines and half of our makeup lines are vegan. And I love packaging. I love adorable packaging. It’s got to be a great product from a really great company, love anything manufactured in the US and cute packaging.

Image via Eleanor Jean Boutique

L&R: What makes this mix of having a beauty salon and a boutique with all of the products successful? What makes you different from the rest?

Jacey: Salons that also sell products usually focus on their services. We have more boutique style services. It’s a place where a group of ladies from all ages can come in and shop, have some wine, have some treats, get a facial, get their lashes done, have a mani pedi and more. I wanted a place where people can hang out and not feel rushed in and out of the service. We have our apothecary room with over 100 essential oils where we do custom blended perfumes and bath and body products. So if a couple of people are getting services done we can take a couple into the scent room and they can dabble and pick a scent they like. I haven’t seen it done in that way. They either succeed in the retail end and not so much in the services. Or they do great services and are just not dedicating the time into the product. So I try to equally put my time and energy into both. We are constantly learning new things. There is just four of us and then we have a mobile team of 10 mainly for weddings. L&R: Any secret standby beauty or makeup tips you are willing to share?

Jacey: For skin care, two things that everyone should have is an enzyme exfoliant and a rosewater toner. Duchess Marden has both and Odacité has a great toner as well. Both don’t use water, they use aloe vera instead so you get 50% more product and it sets into your skin. This will safely exfoliate and help to bring out the good oils in your skin. Helps the skin take in the moisture that you have. Rosewater toner is very soothing it’s made with pure roses, also a aphrodisiac and smells like delicious roses. For makeup, a great organic lip gloss. We eat 98% what’s on our lips off so a really fabulous bright colored organic lip gloss.

L&R: OK I have to ask… I have always had the hardest time creating that winged eye with eyeliner on myself. What do you suggest?

Jacey: Always use an angled brush, don’t ever just use a pencil. look down into a mirror and take the brush with one swoop.

Arica: I’ve really been using Jacey’s tip and it totally works!

Jacey & Danielle

It was such a nice experience to meet with Jacey and really get to know her and learn more about her adorable shop. She was so sweet and you can tell she really knows her stuff. I can’t wait to go back and buy up a bunch of gifts for my girly girl friends.

To learn more about Eleanor Jean Boutique, visit their website here. You can also “like” them on Facebook and follow on Twitter.

♥♥

Arica

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