A fashion stylist opens Lily Love Boutique in Playa del Rey

By Kamala Kirk

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

Sara Lashkari has loved fashion for as long as she can remember. When she was 5 years old, she enjoyed playing with dolls and sketching dresses. After graduating from college in her native Canada, she moved to South Korea to teach English for two years. During her time living abroad, Lashkari noticed how advanced the fashions were in Asia, which sparked her interest in pursuing a career in the industry.

“I noticed that all of the clothing I saw in Korea was coming to Canada five years later,” Lashkari says. “I couldn’t believe how fashion-forward they were. That really inspired me to want to do something in that realm.”

10 years ago, she moved to the United States from Canada and established a successful career for herself as a stylist working in TV production and commercials, as well as doing personal and celebrity styling. After Lashkari’s mother passed away in 2018, she decided to follow her dream of opening a clothing boutique—something her mother had always known she wanted to do.

“My mom was Persian and her name translated to ‘Lily’ in English,” Lashkari explains. “I wanted to incorporate her into my new business, so I came up with Lily Love Boutique.”

Lily Love Boutique launched online in July, then Lashkari opened her brick-and-mortar shop in October in Playa del Rey. She had planned to open in March, but then COVID-19 hit and her 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 and open my doors,” Lashkari says. “Once I had built some traction online, I set a date and opened the boutique.”

Located in Playa del Rey Center, Lily Love Boutique offers a variety of stylish and affordable clothing, accessories and jewelry for women of all ages. Because of 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 sourcing things that I really think people will like and I’ve found a lot of things from different vendors in Downtown where I walk around and see the items and fabrics in person,” Lashkari shares. “I try to get new styles every month and I’m trying to find more brands that are designed in LA.”

Current trends in fashion include cozy and soft loungewear sets, cardigans, fuzzy Sherpa jackets and teddy coats. Another popular item is the shacket—a slightly oversized, shirt-jacket hybrid—which Lashkari sold out of quickly.

Another thing that customers love about coming to 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 in the other day and thought that a particular item wouldn’t fit her, but I encouraged her to try it on and she ended up buying it,” Lashkari says. “I like putting complete outfits together on the mannequins to show the different ways that things can be worn together to give my customers ideas. I like helping other women look and feel good.”

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

“Everyone who comes in here is really excited that there is a clothing boutique that’s affordable in the neighborhood,” Lashkari says. “They’ve told me that this is exactly what was needed in this area and that they love the vibe, which is always nice to hear. I would love to be the go-to boutique in town and in the future I’d like to host events. I’ve already hosted several virtual events where I’ve raised money for charity. My mom always loved to give back and that’s something I want to keep doing as well.”

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

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