January V Stockist - Viva Diva Boutique

I’m in the middle of writing this interview and decide to bounce over to the Viva Diva Facebook page to get a little more acquainted with the store.  Sorry folks, I don’t get to visit ALL of Viereck’s illustrious stores.  She’s doing well, but we’re not quite to “fly me to the Bay Area for interviews” status.  I start sifting through the pictures on the site and literally zone out for 45 minutes salivating over all of the clothes and boots…the BOOTS.  I got majorly sidetracked trying to look for this disgustingly beautiful Ladakh cape on the interwebs (the one paired with Viereck’s yum-mazing tribal print Hot Sake).  I’m fairly certain they no longer have it, the pretty thing.  I even ventured onto EBay and that place gives me hives.  Pain.  Suffering!  My next thought was, “hmmm…when am I going to San Francisco next?…..how far away is San Rafael?……I wonder if it’s expensive to fly into…..” OK SIMONE STOP THE MADNESS.  I have to tell you folks, there is nothing like a boutique owner that was once a sales rep.  If ANYBODY knows fashion it’s a former sales rep.  Amy Anderson has been on the other side ladies, and she’s clearly honed her skills in seeking out quality and affordable merch.  Viereck LOVES what you’re doing at Viva Diva Amy!  Peruse the interview!

 

1. Where are you from?  If you’re not from San Rafael, how did you end up there?

I am a Marin County gal.  I left Marin for college in San Diego and then lived in San Francisco for several years.  When I moved back to county in 1995, I gravitated toward San Rafael, for its warm weather and close proximity to the beach, the wine country, and the city.

2. Where did the name Viva Diva come from?

When I knew I wanted to open a clothing store, I played with every name I could.  At the time I was a Northern California clothing rep, and was on the road visiting stores in the South Bay.  A license plate in front of me was “VIVACE”, so I played with “Viva” and whatever rhymed with Viva.  And voila, Viva Diva!

 

3. How did you decide to open a store?

I opened Viva Diva in 1997 after working as a clothing sales rep.  I loved the idea of having a business that was my own creative outlet.  I also loved the idea of being my own boss, and of creating a boutique atmosphere that I had not yet encountered… namely one that was fun, encouraging, “girlfriendy,” and a little inappropriate at times.

4. What are your favorite Viereck pieces and why?

 

We love the Viereck silk Hot Sake dress at Viva Diva.  The colors available are rich and saturated, and the fit is a no-brainer for so many different body types.  We have styled this dress multiple ways, even discarding the belt to tuck it in as a beautiful blouse with jeans.

 

6. What trends do you love right now?

For this season, every Nor Cal girl needs a pair of amazing skinny jeans in black or dark denim, and one pretty printed blouse than can be worn “lady” if necessary, but can be made super sexy when low cut or unbuttoned with a colorful Cosabella bralette and chunky chain necklace.  Also key this season in every closet should be a pair of high wedge suede booties or knee-high leather fold-over boots.  Finally, every Nor Cal chick should have at least one amazing sweater that can be used as a layering piece.

 

I’m seriously nodding my head in agreement reading this.  Amy is like….like…a guru.

7. What is playing in the store right now?

 

We play a combination of house, blues, and rock at Viva Diva.  Some of our favorites right now are Florence and the Machine, Foster the People, and the Black Keys.

 

8. Who are your style icons?

Starlets and rock stars from the 60s, 70s and 80s inspire me.  I love the carefree, beachy style of Brigitte Bardot, the feminine hippie vibe of Stevie Nicks, and the rocker sexiness of Pat Benatar.

 

9. What is the Viva Diva customer like?

Viva Diva is all about sexy, contemporary fashion and a true girlfriendy vibe.  The Viva gals believe in real-girl wearable trends that are flattering and accessible.  We are partial to bohemian, beachy styles paired with a sexy rocker edge.

10. What trends do you see for Spring and Summer?

For Spring 2012, we are really excited about the amazing saturated colors and tribal prints that will start coming in next month.  Four key pieces for Spring include a pair of brightly-colored flare or skinny-leg jeans, a feminine but sexy tunic that can be worn as a mini dress or with jeans or shorts, an assortment of oversized printed and solid sheer tees, and one stellar pair of leather-covered heel, or stacked-wood heel, platform sandals.  To finish off Spring necessities, our Nor Cal customers should get their hands on some long, layering necklaces.

 

11.What do your customers think about Viereck?  Is there a certain customer that gravitates more towards her clothing?

Our customer base for Viereck dresses really varies from young, contemporary fashionistas to more mature ladies.  Our gals are drawn to the vibrant colors, and once the dresses are on, to the killer fits.

 

12.Why is your store unique in San Rafael?  Don’t be shy now….

My assistant buyer, Bri, and I are always searching out the looks and trends that are coming next that will work for our Nor Cal ladies. In addition to our consistent lines that continually prove themselves with amazing fit and great quality, we are constantly seeking new, fresh styles and designers.  One of the things that sets Viva Diva apart from other boutiques in our area is that we are constantly scouring the markets for lines that offer the best quality and contemporary styles at the biggest bang for the buck.  This gives Viva Diva a great balance of high quality and hot trends.  Our customers can find special and unique pieces that will work for the their budget.  As a result, we get new deliveries nearly every day.  This keeps Viva Diva always fresh and always changing.  Our customers know that each week they can find new treasures.

13. . How were you introduced to the Viereck line?  Were you hesitant with it being a new line for you in this economy?

 

We were introduced to Viereck by our sales rep, Ginger.  We were not hesitant to pick up Viereck once we saw the fit and quality of the line.  The price points are on target and the styles on trend.  Price has not been a deterrent to our customers for Viereck.

14. What is the best thing about your job?

Don’t get me wrong.  I love the buying, the merchandising, and the satisfaction of working for myself.  But my favorite thing about owning and running Viva Diva is the relationships I have made with my customers who have become my girlfriends and the wonderful gals I have worked with over the years.  I am inspired by them and always so thrilled by their hard work and dedication to Viva Diva.

 

15. Annnnnnnnnd what is your favorite cocktail?

tequila..

 

Like Viva Diva on Facebook at www.facebook.com/vivadiva and visit their website at www.vivadivaboutique.com

Interview by Simone Gray

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