Meet Carolina Loiacono is a Cuban born mother of two. She and her husband, Greg, live in Marin County. Since her days as a student in Santa Barbara, where she would work in some of the local boutiques on State Street, she has had a dream of opening her own women's contemporary boutique. With hard work and and great attitude she has made her dream come true. She owns two boutiques in Marin- one in Mill Valley and one in Novato. These beautiful stores are filled with the top, contemporary brands.
Her husband happens to be my cousin. Even before they were married Carolina and Ibecame fast friends- sisters, actually. We are constantly supporting each other and involved in each other's lives. While spending time helping her with her store, Carolina commented on some
jewelry that I had been making for myself and my friends. Carolina suggested that I create some pieces to sell in her Mill Valley shop. I dove in deep. I was consumed by design ideas in my dreams and during the days. Only a few months later I had designed a whole jewelry collection. Carolina was my inspiration and has been selling the collection in her shops since its inception. I am thankful to have her in my life and for all the support she has given me.
Why did you decide to start a store?
Having a clothing boutique was always a dream of mine. It made the top 10 list carefully crafted at the age of 13, which also included getting married, having kids, and visiting the pyramids in Egypt. At times it felt like I couldn’t be further from that dream. A few years back I was working in the tech industry and knew it was not what I wanted to do long term. I needed a creative outlet and retail seemed to be in the cards. I started Carolina Boutique in 2010 and it has been evolving ever since. It perfectly blends my creative side with my business sense and always keeps me on my toes. No two days are ever the same.
Who are your favorite designers currently?
I am a big fan of Isabel Marant. If I was a designer I would try to emulate her style: feminine, understated, easy to wear. The clothes don’t wear you. They accentuate your best assets. I also love Saint Laurent. Their Iconic Le Smoking Jacket and Double Breasted Cape are exquisite.
What is trending for Fall/Winter?
Fringe and leather, and yes we’ve been here before.
It seems like being in the kitchen is so natural for you! What are you cooking currently and what are your go to recipes?
I bought a Cuban cookbook at the beginning of the year and have been trying out the recipes. I love the Picadillo (ground beef with olives and potatoes) placed inside plantains which are turned into bite size cups. They are delicious. The black beans are another family favorite. Most of the recipes are quite easy but tasty.
How does your family inspire you every day?
My kids are warm, sensitive and funny. At the end of the day they are good humans and I am very proud of that. We love to play a game called laughing hyena where one person tries to make everyone else laugh. Sometimes it takes just one look for us all to burst out into laughter. I love when this happens. It makes me feel like I belong.
Where do you hang out in Marin?
My shops of course! And my car…driving around town and up the 101. Not super glamorous, but seems like there is not much time for anything else. I wish there was more time to read. That is a favorite pastime of mine.
Tell us about your favorite RS piece of jewelry
I wear my RS thin diamond bands (one diamond, one black diamond) with a RS rough cut black diamond thick band every day. The three pieces stacked together are stunning. I misplaced them for about 2 months and I was not complete without them. At this point, they are basically a part of my hand.
What is your mantra of the month?
My mantra is always, “This too shall pass”. It seems like this is the best rule for life, business and parenting. If things are bad, they will pass. If things are good, they will pass too, so you best enjoy every moment you can.