We had the good fortune of connecting with Lauren Arkin-Malacsina and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lauren, looking back, what do you think was the most difficult decision you’ve had to make?
The most difficult decision was when I had to decide to either continue my business online or stop and give up my dream and passion when I was faced with closing the brick and mortar side of my business. Although it was very difficult (emotionally ) of letting go of a place I put so much time and effort in, it was the best decision. Having a online shop has given great flexibility I didn’t have before especially now that I have a baby.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Opened in Spring 2010, L.A.Boudoir Miami has become “the” vintage boutique to offer the fashion-savvy, style seeker an extensive collection of vintage apparel and accessories at an affordable price. When sourcing items for the shop I look carefully at items that show unique design and excellent quality. I am not keen on focusing on designer labels, the craftsmanship and overall design need to stand out before the label does. One of the key aspects that sets us apart is how we are offer affordable vintage items. I can’t stand when similar businesses sell items at high end designer prices when you are buying second hand pre-owned. I want everyone to be able to enjoy vintage and not hurt their bank account. One of the things I am most proud of was winning “Best of Miami” two times from Miami New Times. It was only after being in business for one year and I opened up the “Best of” Issue and saw my name and picture. I was in pure shock and screamed for a good 15 mins. The road to where I am today did not come easy. It was a lot of sacrificing, hard work and disappointment along the way. Even now in our current state of living with the corona virus, things have been very challenging. I used to be able to plan for pop-up events and those have been put off until further notice. And sales are not what they used to be. People aren’t attending lavish events so my evening wear section hasn’t really moved. I am adapting like everyone else with having many more online sales and for those who live local I do offer curb side service. I am staying positive and know that one day things will go back to be as close to normal as they can be. I want the world to know that my passion for vintage runs very deep and I hope to keep this business going for a long time. Now more then ever is the perfect time to start wearing and enjoying vintage because it is also a way of helping our planet be a little more greener.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Being a Miami native there are so many great places to check out for eating and sightseeing. Day one I would take them to Miami Beach (even though its highly over-rated and crowded) its a must place to check off. For lunch I would take them to News Cafe on Ocean Drive (great for people watching.) After lunch we would check out Lincoln Road for some retail therapy and maybe a afternoon coffee from Segafredo. For dinner we would have some local Cuban food. Over the next couple days I would show them around Brickell City Center, Bayside, Downtown area for attractions and food. Over the weekend on Saturday I would take them to Wynwood to show them Artwalk and have some local food and snack from some food trucks like MsCheezious. During the day to cool off I would show them Venetian Pool for a some old florida style living. If time allowed I would take them for a drive to the Keys for some snorkeling fun.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I wouldn’t be where I am today with out all the support and love from my family, especially my husband Bela. He has helped in all aspects from helping me source items, build store fixtures, to staying up late packing my car up from a pop-up event or fashion show and being the extra shoulder to lean on in difficult times all while he works his own full time job. I am so grateful for all his patience and sacrificing he has given for the past 10 years.
Sonju Photography Erika Nelly Photography Bohemian Overland