After a successful career in the film business, Deborah Wolsh was looking for something new. Something that inspired her. Deborah’s grandmother, a spirited and fashionable antique jewelry dealer (pictured above) left some money to her granddaughter upon her death, which she used to open the namesake and stylesake boutique. And in August 2001, Ethel Boutique was born. The store carried on and carries on her grandmother’s style legacy with Deborah’s revolving inventory of perfectly handpicked classic pieces with a stylish twist.
2001 was the height of the Sex and the City shopping and brunching with your favorite females retail craze. And an article by Moon Unit Zappa in the New York Times detailing her favorite secret street in Los Angeles West 3rd Street, put it on the fashion map. In the know shoppers, celebrities, and tourists alike were all over it and all over W3ST. The neighborhood grew and prospered, adding new unique boutiques and eateries, living up to and beyond its hype.
The business owners got together and formed the West 3rd Street business association. With Joan McNamara of the iconic gourmet marketplace and eatery Joan’s on Third at the helm and eventually Deborah herself taking on the role. They worked and continue to work to better the community and neighborhood for business owners and shoppers alike. The strong community bond between the shop owners have helped create West 3rd Street‘s unique friendly neighborhood feel that is a rare find in retail districts within the city.
In her years of film development, Deborah would travel to different cities exploring the shopping scenes, finding unique eclectic affordably priced boutiques she absolutely loved and wished for something similar in the often style synonymous Los Angeles shopping scene. She began to seek out lines and pieces that matched her taste that you couldn’t find elsewhere and stocked Ethel full of her favorites. Through word of mouth and a great LA location, it worked.
Customers couldn’t get enough of Deborah’s selection of lesser known lines and unique pieces and at the height of the denim craze, incredible denim selection. From hard to find lines not in other stores, independent designers, and unique shoes you won’t find in the department stores, Ethel has been keeping its customers in handpicked unique affordably priced fashions for more than 10 years, and the customers keep coming.
In Ethel’s years on West 3rd Street, some things have changed and some have stayed the same. It has stuck to its classic style with a twist and its item driven philosophy each season. Still full of many of the classic favorites its always carried and new finds, as fashion and trends have evolved and continue to evolve.
Two years ago, when faced with the demolition of her beloved storefront and its transition into a parking garage, Ethel relocated just across the street. Deborah caught the demolition of her old storefront on tape. Both slightly hilarious and slightly sad. Check out the video here:
No Uhauls were required for the move. Just some dollies and some strong family members helped relocate Ethel to the southside of the street at 8236 West 3rd Street, where it fashionably stays today.
Inside Ethel, you’ll find handbags from Dean and Mercie Marie, shoes from Coclico and Lola Cruz, local jewelry from Rapz by Amireh Parstabar, Presh, and Nikki b, denim from Sanctuary, and pieces from independent and hard to find lines like Beautiful People, Graham & Spencer, Northern California’s Modaspia. As well as classic favorites like Velvet, 360 Sweater, and Dolan T-Shirt. There is always something new and always something you need you make yours at Ethel Boutique.
In addition to the W3ST store, Ethel has also added an annex in Studio City. You can find the Ethel store within a store within Verona Shoes at 4350 Tujunga Avenue in Studio City. And Deborah has also expanded her love of seeking out unique clothing to unique homes, something else she’s always had a passion for. In the market for some unique reality? Let Ethel help. Deborah’s real estate website can be found at thehomespotter.blogspot.com.
Spring/summer perfect sandals from Lola Cruz
Tops from Velvet, 360 Sweater, and more.
Beautiful handmade jewelry from Rapz by Amireh Parstabar.
Bracelets from Nikki b and more from Rapz by Amireh Parstabar.
Local LA favorite Silverlake’s Dean handbags.
Feminine and pretty from Beautiful People.
A little lace from Graham Spencer.
A twist on the classic cardigan from Inhabit.
Another cardigan twist top from Inhabit.
Ethel has sold the perfect for every season Fiji dress by Modaspia for years and it arrives in a different patterns and prints regularly.
Enza Costa perfectly pretty.
Enza Costa comfortable.
Dolan T-Shirt lightweight mid maxi shrug.
Mesh lined skirt by pete.
LOVE this Susanna Monaco dress.
Cute and comfy from Christina Lehr.
Swoon worthy sale items and sale prices on the sale rack.
Fashion and shopping exhausted? Have a cute comfortable seat.
Ethel Boutique is located at 8236 West 3rd Street.