Miami has it all, right? A weekend can look somewhat like this: wake up late, put your hair in a messy bun, head over to the beach. Sip up a Mimosa, get some tan, head over for a fun brunch somewhere in Miami Beach. Stop by a gallery or two, catch a movie on Lincoln Road with some friends, and dance the night away. Repeat. Picture perfect! If only it didn't have to start with the ‘what to wear’ puzzle. So, how to be the ‘it’ girl in the Magic City that attracts some of the most stunning, fashion-savvy women on the planet? How not to be the girl in the same dress as the other five? We are beyond thrilled to introduce you to the utterly charming Patricia Costa, the owner and the sole curator of covertly famous Beach Boutique in South Beach. A day on the yacht, a glamorous outing, or a night in with a loved one, her undeniable talent, hard work, and impeccable taste continue to deliver her clientele unforgettable pieces for nearly any occasion.
SFL Style: In a few words, please tell our reader about your background.
Beach Boutique: Born in Falmouth Massachusetts, I got adopted into an American-Italian family. Grew up in a family of five children, where all the kids were highly competitive, and I was the ‘artistic one’ (she laughs).
SFL Style: When did you become interested in fashion?
Beach Boutique: Can’t remember myself not being intrigued by it. Pure magic. Back then I even joined a tennis team solely because the outfits were cute! My first actual step towards where I am today was getting a job at a store called ‘New York Fashion.' Sadly, there was nothing fashionable about it, but this is where I saw my very first issue of Vogue. I was thirteen. I was mesmerized by the intense beauty of it. I just wanted to take it all in, rub it into my skin if I could. Then, I took off to study at Mass College of Art (Boston).
SFL Style: What did you do before you moved to Miami?
Beach Boutique: I explored myself and the world. When I was done with Boston, I sold my car and I moved to Italy, to a little place called ‘Udine' (just a train ride away from famous Venice - author’s remark). I was only twenty back then. I immersed myself in rich Italian culture. I was living and breathing everything it had to offer. Italians are genetically predisposed to fashion! It's effortless, and it is in everything. I was studying painting and having an affair with fashion. When it was time to come back, I reunited with my family in Florida.
SFL Style: Tell us about your career with Chanel.
Beach Boutique: Great times! Upon my return, I began working at Burdines (Burdines is a now-defunct American department store chain in the state of Florida, taken over by Macy’s, - author’s remark). My first job in the fashion industry - I was doing makeup! By the age of twenty-seven, I became Executive Regional Trainer of South East for Chanel.
SFL Style: What inspired you to start Beach Boutique Miami?
Beach Boutique: I couldn't find a place to shop! Humor aside, it has always been my dream.
SFL Style: How did you come up with such a perfect name?
Beach Boutique: I called my store ‘Beach’ because it is about the local beach woman. I also like simple names, happy ones.
SFL Style: What was the most challenging aspect of opening your boutique?
Beach Boutique: A bout of jitters! Deep inside I knew it was meant to be, yet I kept asking myself ‘will people shop here?’ And ‘will they like my selection?’ It was a throwback to the teenage days of ‘will he like me?’, ‘will he ask me to the dance?’ – LOL. We will always have our insecurities; I just had to follow my heart.
SFL Style: What brands does your boutique carry?
Beach Boutique: Ulla Johnson, Alice McCall, Raquel Allegra, Zhivago, Nour Hammout, to name a few. I’m always on a lookout for new, dazzling talents.
SFL Style: How and why did you become a jewelry designer? Please tell us about it.
Beach Boutique: Costa Jewelry is my mini-mania. It is an outlet for my creativity, my passion for art and, most importantly, it is a tribute to my faith. It’s beauty meant to serve as a soft reminder of the divine connection. It is my way of expressing gratitude for every blessing in my life. Each piece is hand-made by experts with close attention to detail. My Scapulario Collection is truly magical. One of my personal favorites features 18k rose gold setting, diamonds, and a sapphire of a spellbinding blue.
SFL Style: What makes your boutique store unique?
Beach Boutique: I have an eye for chic. My clients come here because they know they will always find something special. Walk in and I will dress you head to toe so that you will be remembered and admired. From irresistible lingerie to rock-star coats, I have just the right amount of everything. You’ll find a snappy 'jean,' a fabulous silk gown, a perfect set of earrings and perfume - all that jazz. I curate exceptional collections – refined, sophisticated. What I don’t do - I don’t do boring, typical, generic. My boutique is all about personalized approach, undeniable quality, and trendy yet uncommon designs. I select pure, luxurious fabrics – silk, linen, cashmere. Here we have a relatively intimate setting, and I work very hard to bring every single piece to the store for our unique clientele. I don’t mean to brag, but my clients come from all over the world. A few of them came in once while on a holiday in Miami and then found their way back to me and my collections. Elegance with a pinch of hot spice knows no borders, and I don’t discriminate by distance!
SFL Style: What has been your most favorite experience to date as a fashion boutique owner? What has been your least? (If any).
Beach Boutique: Every time my phone buzzes and client shares that they got a lot of compliments wearing my pieces. That's what gives an adrenalin rush, and that's the exact reason why I do what I do. Least favorite story - local construction, but even that just proved the great loyalty of my customers. Neither lack of street access nor parking disaster could ever stop them!
SFL Style: How would you describe your personal style?
Beach Boutique: I am a chameleon. I love it all and I love to play. I am all about details: the sunglasses, jewelry, makeup, etc. Accessories have great power when it comes to changing your entire look at a glance. During the day I am usually in my beautiful, comfortable blouse with a chic jean, or maybe a long bohemian dress. At night - always glamorous or Rocker-Edgy, can’t help it. The best part of being a woman is that you are your own event!
SFL Style: For you, what would you say is the best part of being a fashion boutique owner?
Beach Boutique: I'm finally living my dream: I created this; this is a child of my passion. Every acquired skill and accomplishment led me here. I love my clients, my vendors, my space. I do my best, and I have succeeded in creating a space to relax, feel great, and play with the image. I have achieved a real sense of the community. Now I am also offering beauty workshops upon request – that's my way of providing a complete, ready-to-shine look when you need it the most. It is my invitation to reboot that confidence and walk out a seducer, a winner. We owe it to ourselves to take a fresh look in a mirror and reinvent our own beauty ‘just because.' More often than not, all that is needed is a minor delicate touch.
SFL Style: You are such a beautiful woman; what are your beauty secrets?
Beach Boutique: Thank you. Beauty is a big, important word to me. I do believe I have a little ‘spark.' I am obsessed with ‘Ila Spa, a luxurious organic skincare. They only use the purest minerals and wild-harvested plants. It is fabulous. For make-up, I use Ellis Faas (Hollywood stunner Margot Robbie is one of the biggest advocates of Ellis Faas, - author’s remark). Quality is unparalleled, it is rich and creamy. The skin care and the makeup together perform miracles. My skin glows.
SFL Style: What are your all-time favorite fashion trends?
Beach Boutique: Oh, boyfriend jeans with some spectacular heels. Big earrings - so sexy! Anything edgy - it is impossible not to look hot when you are going after ‘Avant-guard Edgy’ look. Lastly, no one can resist bohemian when it’s done right! It awakens the romantic in all of us.
SFL Style: What advice would you give to a savvy fashionista who wants to open her (his) own fashion boutique?
Beach Boutique: Same rules I follow myself: know your job and always be in tune with it. Research; never fall behind your game. The new designer is on the horizon - I am the first to know. Show up every single day - no one will know it better - your clientele, your pieces, and how you envision the two come together. I know what my customers are after, I dare to advise, and I always have my best intentions at heart. They must look fabulous day in and day out - that’s the ultimate goal. Smile and laugh, at the end of the day, shopping is the best therapy for all.
1701 Sunset Harbour Dr., C103
Miami Beach, FL 33139