Sirens & Sailors Expands
Jennifer Phillips, one of the pioneers of the boutique revolution in Los Angeles’ Echo Park, nearly left the retail scene she worked so hard to build.
The business at her boutique, Sirens & Sailors, doubled in 2004 and consequently outgrew the 700-square-foot space near Sunset Boulevard, where she had been offering fashion from new Los Angeles designers.
“The back room was the size of a small closet,” Phillips said. “”I was fighting the urge to leave the area.”
In February, her landlord made a deal with her to stay in Echo Park. She signed a two-year lease for a 2,000-square-foot cottage at 1104 Mohawk St., next door to her original shop at 1102 Mohawk St.
She will also keep her old space, where she and former assistant Gina Harth plan to open an art and home furnishings shop called All Aboard.
The new Sirens & Sailors will debut on March 10. Phillips said the new store will feature hardwood floors; sleek, 1960s Modernist fixtures; and white mocha–colored walls. She will double the number of designers she carries to 100, including Mountain Rivers; Peacocks; Grey Ant; Hysteric Glamour; Evil Genius; Development; Desanka; Brian Lichtenberg; Prospect 44; and JP Dawn, her own label of one-of-a-kind pieces. She will also double the men’s section to two racks and add a shoe wall and display space for jewelry.
Phillips managed vintage boutique Wasteland on Los Angeles’ fashionable Melrose Avenue from 1994 to 1999. She quit to open Sirens & Sailors, which she hoped would be a place to showcase new designers. She knew she was taking a risk in opening a store in Echo Park.
“People thought I was crazy to move there,” Phillips said. “But I was born in Echo Park. It was an artists’ community, and it had the possibilities of becoming more of a shopping and walking district.”
Her hunch proved right. More than seven Echo Park boutiques now sell clothes from new and up-and-coming designers. These stores include The Kids Are All Right, Anti-Market and Show Pony. —Andrew Asch