Posted on April 25 2018
Twin sisters Cristina and Michelle Wilson have dreamed of owning their own boutique since they were little girls. Their first business endeavor was a coffee cart they owned in college which quickly expanded to multiple locations. After years of countless 4 AM shifts while also putting themselves through school, the twins graduated Sonoma State and their next move was immediately clear: it was time to live out their dream of opening a clothing boutique.
So Cristina and Michelle sold their coffee cart and used all the money they made to open their first store in downtown Petaluma. It was a quaint 500 sq ft. loft and they worked tirelessly to hand select the perfect pieces from thrift stores, vintage shops, and garage sales. After a year in business in their first location, the twins knew they were ready to expand and opened shop in a new space more than four times the size of their first one--and that became the Petaluma store you know and love. Once Ooh La Luxe became a Petaluma staple with a steady flow of regular customers, Cristina and Michelle thought the Santa Rosa Mall would be a perfect place to continue to grow the business. The new store was a hit, and with the introduction of a booming online store shortly thereafter, it was clear Ooh La Luxe was bound for success. Now with almost 10 years in business, Ooh La Luxe has three locations, a thriving web store, 19 amazing team members, and a loyal handful of celebrities/influencers supporting and sporting the brand. Meet those team members here:
Co-owner Cristina Wilson was inspired to open her own clothing store by her natural tendency towards business and her passion for curating unique and beautiful pieces. She sees fashion as a means of self-expression believes that your personal style is a way of letting people get to know you a little just from looking at you. Because of this, she loves helping customers find clothing that makes them feel confident and look amazing. An avid thrifter and a talented DIY artist, Cristina hand makes many of the ornate visual displays featured in the stores. A perfect day to Cristina would be grabbing a coffee, hitting the antique fair, crafting, and spending time with her husband Shane and her daughter Summer.
Co-owner Michelle Wilson has always loved the eclectic and expressionistic nature of fashion, admiring how it's unique each individual locale. Her travels all over the world have been a major source of inspiration for Ooh La Luxe and big part of the reason the stores feature such unique items. Her favorite place she's ever traveled was Morocco, and you can definitely see that influence in the store displays and homeware items! Michelle's other passions include hiking, home styling, and spending time with her husband Colby and her daughter Harlow.
Natalie is the store manager and lead stylist in the Petaluma location. If you've ever visited the store, you know her as the curly haired boho goddess with a contagious smile, usually seen wearing fabulous printed pieces from Spell and Free People. She's a Sebastopol native who studied ballet for 20 years before moving to London to study fashion. Natalie is a huge foodie with an extensive knowledge of Sonoma County eateries, so feel free to ask her for a restaurant recommendation while she's helping style you for your next event.
Brandi is the operations manager and loves music and shopping for records to add to her collection. My favorite find is an original pressing of a Buddy Holly record I found at a local shop when I lived in New Jersey!
Who is your style icon and why? Stevie Nicks is my biggest one. I love putting on a flowy, Stevie-inspired kimono over a basic tank and adding a few rings to it. I'm also inspired by Sienna Miller's take on boho in the early 2000s. I love print and I've never met a floral pattern I haven't liked. Also, anything Anna Sui creates (past or present) is such an inspiration.
Petaluma assistant manager Stasia has an eye for aesthetics, as shown by her talents as a stylist. She moved from Moscow, Russia when she was a child. She's a Communications student at Sonoma State University. Stasia is head over heels for the brand Spell and the Gypsy collective, and right now she can't get enough of the City Lights maxi because it's a one-of-a-kind piece that also features a high waist and pockets. Girl's got her priorities in check.
Brittany is a stylist at the Petaluma store. She's a Petaluma native who loves that Ooh La Luxe is in the heart of downtown and perfectly fits into the town's welcoming, chill vibe. Her passion is helping women feel beautiful in all regards, evidenced by the fact that Brittany had been a hairdresser for four years before joining the Ooh La Luxe team. Since beauty and fashion go hand-in-hand, the transition made perfect sense, and she loves styling customers and helping them feel beautiful.
Nacia is a stylist and seamstress at the Petaluma location. She attends the Summerfield Waldorf School and Farm in Santa Rosa, which explains her array of artistic talents. Nacia loves being surrounded by the women who work at Ooh La Luxe because their individual style gives her creative inspiration, and one of her favorite parts of working at the store is one-on-one styling appointments with customers where she gets to really exercise her creativity.
Petaluma stylist Emiliana is a San Francisco native, but that doesn't stop her from loving the family feel and small-town vibes of Ooh La Luxe. She's currently studying Communications at Sonoma State University, after which she dreams of being going to culinary school and becoming a wedding planner, so you know she's got you covered for those special events where you need the perfect dress! Speaking of perfect dresses, her current favorite piece is the Indio dress because of its bright colors and the way it flows.
Andrea is Santa Rosa store manager, and she's been with Ooh La Luxe for five years--over half of the time it's been in business! Her prolonged background in fashion gives her an extensive knowledge of brands and trends, which is part of what makes her an amazing stylist. One of her favorite parts about being with the company for so many years is the relationships she's cultivated with regular customers, because being familiar with people's style and preferences allows her to be even better at helping them find pieces they love.
Monica is the Manager in the Healdsburg store, and she loves that Ooh La Luxe carries brands like Spell, Free People, and Sbicca. Monica is a Sonoma County native, so naturally she loves being outdoors, camping, and hiking. One of her favorite things about being in nature so much is she can collect her own geodes and crystals; finding them herself makes them so much more special! She loves working for Ooh La Luxe because it's the perfect balance of her passion for adventure and her love of fashion.
Laura is a stylist in the Santa Rosa store and a self proclaimed brunch queen. She currently attends Sonoma State where she studies English/Creative Writing in hopes of one day running her own fashion/lifestyle magazine. One of her favorite things about working at Ooh La Luxe is how much women bring each other up both within the business and with customers.
The newest stylist at the Santa Rosa store is Hannah and she's so excited to be working at Ooh La Luxe because she loves fashion and how people express themselves through their clothing. One of her biggest passions is animal rights, so she loves that Ooh La Luxe has such a trendy collection of vegan garments. In her free time, Hannah leads an active lifestyle; some of her favorite hobbies include hiking with her dogs and going to the gym.
Santa Rosa resident Rose is a stylist in the Healdsburg store. She's just finishing up her general education at Santa Rosa Junior College, after which she plans to study Fine Arts in Environmental Interior Design. Rose loves to see the beauty in the world from behind the lens of her camera, and her photography passion perfectly complements her love of interior design. On the weekends, you can find Rose exploring San Francisco, catching a concert, or grabbing an Acai bowl.
Marina is the website operator for the online store and she's based out of the warehouse in Petaluma. She started as a stylist in the Petaluma store and she always knew she wanted to grow with the company, so managing the website was a natural progression for her. She's passionate about the fashion world in general, and working for Ooh La Luxe has been a great way for her to combine her love of style with her desire to help make a difference in fashion.
Alex is a website coordinator for the online store. He helps package orders and keep track of inventory in the warehouse, and one day he aspires to get his Ph.D Biomedical Engineering. For now, he's happy with growing Ooh La Luxe as a company, and a fun fact about him is he drinks half a gallon of kombucha a day--gut health on point!
Raquel is the main Ooh La Luxe model and an occasional stylist in the Petaluma store. She's working on obtaining her BS in Kinesiology from Sonoma State, so it makes perfect sense that she's also a pilates instructor in Petaluma! One day, Raquel hopes to be a pediatric occupational therapist.