Friday, November 24 , 2017, 12:33 am | Fair 54º


Judy Foreman: With Juniper, Marie Ferris Brings Fresh Fashion Perspective to Montecito

San Ysidro Village boutique provides unique selection of contemporary clothing accessories with owner’s own sense of style


Juniper, Montecito’s newest women’s boutique, caught my attention with its unique selection of contemporary clothing accessories. But it’s the engaging proprietor, Marie Ferris, who had me coming back for more as the neighborhood’s fresh fashion resource.

Ferris — a professional retail star who for 16 years owned a well-regarded boutique, Matti D, in Del Mar — was seduced by the beauty of Santa Barbara and decided to buy a house and open a business in our town.

Located in the former home of Elú, at 525 San Ysidro Road in the Upper Village, the shop opened quietly in early April. Juniper will have its official grand opening from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, the eve of Mother’s Day, with the public invited for refreshments and an opportunity to check out the store.

Ferris has spent the last month putting the finishing touches on her beautiful store. She’s designed interior displays that I would like to call home.

Juniper has added new energy to Richard Gunner’s San Ysidro Village shopping center and to its neighbors, Jenni Kayne, Julianne, Country House Antiques, William Laman, San Ysidro Pharmacy and Montecito Coffee Shop, Hogue & Co., American Riviera Bank and Coldwell Banker.

From the time I stepped into the newly remodeled space and met Ferris, who is funny and smart with a pleasant East Coast accent, it was apparent that this woman knows fashion.

Her desire to step up the look of casual but collectible items is evident by her mix of mid- to higher-end merchandise. The idea is to get local ladies to still have fun looking casual but enjoying an original touch that they won’t find in any other boutique in Santa Barbara.

In other words, ditch the golf gabardine slacks, sweaters and exercise wear and add some memorable fun pieces to your wardrobe.

Ferris’ stock of dresses, white jeans by Calvin Rucker, denim, denim jackets with trim, leather jackets, T-shirts, cashmere sweaters, woven silk blouses, Elyse Walker and Nour Hammour are all part of her current open collection that she’ll be rotating and updating by season.

In addition to being a business owner and longtime stylist, Ferris is also a designer. She creates unique leather belts with one-of-a-kind buckles embellished with stones that are a little bit sexy and a little bit rock ’n’ roll.

She also carries chic custom leather handbags she designs in a variety of styles and sizes. Glass cases contain beautiful jewelry, some vintage inspired pieces and other new styles with gold and gemstones by Zofia Day, who has a large celebrity clientele.

Ferris’ recipe for her unique blend of merchandise is her own look, she told Noozhawk, and not “just the flavor of the month designer.” With a mix of domestic and imported designs, her well-edited store is not overly stocked, and the display tables are simply beautiful — many in shades of white, beige and rose — and easy to see and appreciate.

Juniper’s large display windows will catch your eye as you drive by, visible from San Ysidro Road and well lit at night with full-size mannequins wearing its latest offerings.

“I want people to come in and hang out in my shop,” Ferris said. “They can take advantage of my self-serve coffee on the sunroom entrance or just hang out by the fireplace and, of course, ‘let me style you pretty.’ You will look good and have fun, too.”

As an added bonus, Juniper is pet-friendly!

Many new merchants — such as Blanka, Whiskey & Leather, Chasen, Whistle Club and Allora by Laura — have made the 93108 a fashion destination, dispelling the myth that there is no place to shop around here. Each store is making its own fashion statement.

The diverse clientele includes younger residents who have come from urban areas and enjoy fashion’s latest offerings; tourists staying at local hotels, who can be seen leisurely sipping from to-go coffee cups, some pushing strollers; and couples holding hands while catching up on shopping.

Whether on Coast Village Road or in the Upper Village, there are ample opportunities to relax and meander while looking for that little bit of the Santa Barbara feeling to take home.

For more information about Juniper, contact [email protected] or 805.618.8467.

— Judy Foreman is a Noozhawk columnist and longtime local writer and lifestyles observer. She can be contacted at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Click here for previous columns. The opinions expressed are her own.

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