Sarah Velasco: As owner of Want Boutique, what is your schedule like? What types of things do you do on a daily basis?
Pari Davis: The first nine years were close to 24/7 work. Now I’m able to enjoy 10am to 5ish and weekends off but am still often double booked. A day can feel like 3 hours it goes by so fast. No two days are ever the same unless I’m on a buying trip. Those are the most focused days – otherwise it’s all over the map but I like it that way – better busy than bored!
Sarah Velasco: When you fly out to New York and LA, how do you find items for your store? What sort of things do you consider when picking items?
Pari Davis: I find them at trade shows, sourcing brands, they find me, my buyer finds them, other reps tell me about them....if you have a store that has a good rep, lines will find their way to you.
The only thing I consider when choosing items is the audience that’s looking at them.
Sarah Velasco: Are there any differences between your Avenue Road, Yonge Street, Richmond Hill, and Oakville store (brands, styles etc) ?
Pari Davis: Yes. At times it’s like buying for 4 completely different markets and sometimes they’re identical. Again, it’s about the audience and their lifestyle, snack bracket and taste. It’s that hard and that easy.
Sarah Velasco: How did you start out in this business?
Pari Davis: A family member was a buyer for a chain of Hawaii based boutiques and I would tag along. After a while, I realized I was good at it and loved it.
Sarah Velasco: If you weren't doing what you are doing now, what would you have done instead?
Pari Davis: Photographer/Art Director – my imagination never seems to run dry.
Sarah Velasco: What drove you to succeed?
Pari Davis: The combo of truly loving what I did and fear of becoming a bag lady.
Sarah Velasco: Who were your role models when you were growing up and have they changed?
Pari Davis: I had a new one every year and still do. Here’s a few who aren’t family and friends – Anne Margret, Cher, Barbara Streisand, Madonna, Richard Pryor, Eddie Murphy and lately it’s all about Oprah!
Each person gave me insight into different compartments of myself and inspired me in completely different ways.
Sarah Velasco: How would you describe your personal style?
Pari Davis: I grew up learning so many different “styles” that I like to wear a lot of them. The old Hollywood glam , preppy and Malibu Boho are my faves. I like having fun with it and surprising myself.
Sarah Velasco: On your latest trip to LA did you have specific looks in mind? Were you considering any trends?
Pari Davis: Each trip I go with an open mind and let the designers tell me what the trends are. I just pick the ones I feel will suit our clientele. After two decades it becomes a gut feeling that’s hard to give explain to even myself – I just know. ( or hope I know)
Sarah Velasco: What are some must-have items currently in stores?
Pari Davis: Must haves for Fall 2011 - printed silk blouses, equestrian leggings and fur trim blazers, oh, we cannot forget the yummy knits and cashmeres that keep us warm in the brisk October air. Fall is my favourite season. Feeling sexy when you’re covered up is true fashion.
Must-have accessory: A necklace that has special meaning to you.
Color of the moment: Brown
Favorite Store In LA/ New York: Polka Dots and Moon Beans
Item on your wish list: That’s never a quick answer – do you have an hour?