PENNY LANE BOUTIQUE
text JORGE PEREZCHICA
photography TOM FOWLER
Penny Lane Boutique is a unique, independently owned establishment on a street sprinkled with brand names. It is a true El Paseo jewel, founded by fashion duo Lauren Segala and her mother. “There was a point in my life that I knew this is what I wanted to do,” the younger Segala expresses. “I always wanted to own my own store.” The Segalas, originally from Los Angeles, own a home in the Coachella Valley and chose to open their shop here because “in LA, it’s more like a dime a dozen,” she decided.
Before she founded Penny Lane, Segala went to school for hair and makeup and got her start as a makeup artist. “I’m obsessed with makeup,” she confesses. “It reminds me to be creative in a different way.” In the span of seven years, Segala applied her creative skills towards weddings and editorials for magazines, then worked in retail at Trio in Palm Desert for five years. “I’ve always loved beauty and fashion,” Segala emphasizes. To realize her dream of owning a shop, she combined her passions and became business partners with her mother. “Once we really got serious about it, it went fast,” Segala says. “We like to get things done. When we found this, we saw the shop we really wanted.”
At heart, Penny Lane is an ode to Segala’s grandmother, Neva J Riggs. “I wanted to incorporate something about her into the store,” Segala says. “That was our favorite pastime — lunch and shop.” As a child, she remembers her grandmother would always say, “When you’re too tired to shop, sit down and try on shoes.” As a testament, Segala admits, “I probably have a hundred pairs of shoes.” The name Penny Lane was chosen on account of several fond memories: her grandmother’s dog was named Penny, Segala is a big fan of the movie “Almost Famous,” as well as a noteworthy Beatles fan. “[Penny Lane] came pretty quickly once we said it out loud — we knew that was it.”
Ever since the opening, Penny Lane Boutique continues to evolve based on the customer’s lifestyle. “When Penny Lane first opened, the majority of the shop was vintage, now the majority is new,” Segala reveals. “I’m trying to pick things that will flatter most people.” Overall, Penny Lane Boutique carries affordable clothes, accessories, and home decor. “I’m always inspired by past eras such as the 60s and 70s,” Segala explains. “I’m really inspired by free spirits.” She is a true fashionista who stays on top of the latest trends. “I’m always looking at magazines and what’s out there.” In her spare time, she enjoys creating macramé custom pieces on t-shirts and denim, and offers workshops during the holidays.
After three years in the business, Segala acknowledges balancing art and commerce as the most challenging, “I don’t think there’s anything that can prepare you one-hundred percent,” she admits. “It’s not easy to own your own business, it’s hard. You have to be really dedicated.” Segala credits her grandfather as a source of motivation. “My grandfather started from the bottom sweeping floors… he ended up being co-owner of the company. For me, that instilled a hard work ethic.” From experience, she has become more comfortable and gained more confidence. “When a customer comes in and buys a piece, even if it’s the least expensive piece — and they’re happy with it — that’s what motivates me,” Segala says. “When I see someone post a photo wearing something from our store, that makes me feel so happy. I really feel I can do this forever. I hope I can inspire other women to follow their dreams.”
Penny Lane Boutique is:
for the Flower Child
the Old Souls
the Young at Heart
and the Wild Ones
73290 EL PASEO, STE 1, PALM DESERT, CA, 92260