Happy Monday y'all!!! If you follow us on instagram, you have already been seeing us obsessing over OAK, Apparel & Home. Located in the heart of Coral Gables, Florida on 116 Valencia, this store has a variety of all things a lady needs. I'm not kidding, clothing, jewelry, home decor (even pieces of furniture handmade by local artisans), and natural wellness skincare products ( I'm starting a collection on face serums, lets be real). This boutique is different among your average gable stores. Besides it's affordable price points, It reminds me of a shop I would see on Abbot Kinney Blvd. in L.A. or shop located on Bedford Ave in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. What I mean is, it has an aura, a soul. Although it has a variety of products, they all have cohesion. The reason behind this curation is part of the dynamic duo of, Kelly and Nicolle. Their vision was clear and this is why I invite you and all of South Florida to come visit this new shop! Also note that they are working on their online store but THEY DO SHIP within the US. !!!
Their doors are open, Monday- Saturday from 11am-7pm. Their OFFICIAL GRAND OPENING is AUGUST 17th, THURSDAY from 4-8pm. That's next week! I'll be there and I hope to see you all there too. They are gonna have prizes and the first 50 customers get a free gift with every purchase ($20 Value). Not to mention raffles and exclusive in-store discounts!
Now for the fun part. It's always inspiring to hear how someone met their dreams and how they dove head first, learn (below) about these two wonderful ladies and more on how OAK, their dream of opening a store front came true.
How Did OAK start?
I’ll never forget how OAK came about. Nicolle and I were sitting in her car outside of Dadeland Mall. We were stressed with our 9 to 5 jobs and pretty damn unhappy with where life had taken us. It felt as if we had spent the last 5 years of our post college life settling. Living comfortably and working for someone else. It had gotten to us and the tears rolling down our cheeks as we kept venting to one another was proof that something needed to change.
Nicolle parked her car and looked over to where I was sitting and asked, “Kelly, why don’t we open a store together?”
It was as simple as that. By October of 2016 we had filed for a corporation and by December we had signed a lease in Coral Gables. This was really happening. Fast forward to July of 2017 and our doors are officially open to the public as we embark on this crazy journey as business owners.
What is your inspiration for OAK? What can customers expect?
Our inspiration really stems from our own personal style and taste. We wanted to mix apparel with home accessories for a full on shopping experience. Our vibe is relaxed, yet timeless and minimalistic. You get a really cozy feel right when you walk in, and that was really important for us. We love mixing natural elements like wood with masculine accents (iron, metals). Our colors are pretty neutral, preferring to stick with blacks, whites and other neutral tones. Customers can expect a warm welcome and shopping experience above all. We really love catering to the OAK girl. She’s unique and true to herself, and that really resonates with us.
Advice for other woman starting a new path?
It’s never not scary. I guess what helps you take the leap is how bad you want it and how tired you are of your current situation. For some strange reason, it always just seems to work out, kind of like a domino effect. For us, I remember that things just started working out, we bought our tickets to Atlanta for the Home Show and it was at that point that it all started to feel real. Some days you feel like you’ve taken a million steps forward, some days you feel like you’ve taken a millions steps back, and honestly, there were days that you just wondered what you got yourself into. It’s a roller coaster of emotions, but one we wouldn’t change for the world. We’ve grown up so much in these last 7 months, but not without a little sweat and tears, laughs and wine….lots of wine. My suggestion to anyone thinking of building something on their own? Just do it. Take one step forward each day. Eventually you look back and see how far you’ve gotten.
Find your tribe. You need them on this journey. Your support team is everything, and they are the ones that keep you going when you feel you cannot. They’re the fans we all need on this journey called life. We couldn’t have done this without the love and support of our closest family and friends.
And - last but certainly not least- because no B2B blog post interview can be left without our QnA BIO's, let's meet these two kindred spirits, Nicolle & Kelly.
Name: Nicolle Mailal
Hometown/Current CIty: Miami
Favorite Color: Black and Olive Green
Go to Outfit: Relaxed fit denim shorts, relaxed t shirt and jacket thrown over the shoulders
I feel sexiest: When Im out and about socializing. I love meeting new people.
My Perfect Date: Nice dinner with great views, good wine and even better conversation
In my past life I lived in: I love being surrounded by mountains (maybe because the only mountains I see in Miami are on my computer desktop), all jokes aside, there’s nothing more comforting to me than being in the countryside, it doesn't really matter where, the views just have to be spectacular.
If I could spend the day with anyone: It would have to be chatting over lunch with Rachel Zoe and Diane Von Furstenberg. These woman are icons in the fashion world, built empires and stayed true to their unique style. It’s empowering to see woman create names for themselves the way they have.
My life would be nothing without: My Family
Name: Kelly Nelson
Hometown/Current City: Miami, FL
Ethnicity: Cuban American
My Favorite color: Black but also love a good Grey or Kelly Green
Candy: Snickers or Reeses
Go to Outfit: Oversized White Button down and relaxed fit denim with a little distressing
I feel sexiest: With freshly blow dried hair, no makeup and my pj’s. I’m such a homebody. I also feel sexiest with a glass of wine in hand while cooking a good meal.
My Perfect Date: Staying in, cooking a good meal and watching a movie with a glass of wine.
Worst Date: Luckily I cancelled the date before it even happened, but it could have easily been a disaster had I not tapped into my intuition. We were supposed to go out for dinner and a movie. Last minute he told me he had already eaten dinner (major eye roll*) and that if I was hungry I could always just eat snacks at the theatre. I obviously cancelled on his ass and stayed in following My Perfect Date Protocol (staying in, with a good meal and movie). I happily watched a sappy chick flick and cooked myself some bomb Thai curry. Guess it turned out pretty well in the end.
In my past life I lived in: France, the countryside most likely, running a vineyard and cooking for loved ones. I don't really have an era, just the French countryside, in a villa of some sort, cooking rustic French cuisine and drinking wine. That feels like home to me.
If I could spend the day with anyone: It would probably be Princess Diana, there was something about her that calls to me in the most admirable way. She was a person before anything. Her love and care for the world was magical and not something you see everyday. She was elegant, timeless, and her legacy lives on. Sitting with her for ten minutes would surely make me a better person, woman and role model above all else.
My life would be nothing without: My family, friends and faith.
I hope you all enjoyed this sweet "meet cute" on this local shop! I'll be at the grand opening and hope to see everyone there!
P.S. Here's some quick links on OAK (don't miss them on their IG stories, they have new goodies weekly!).
OAK Instagram: http://bit.ly/2veT6w5
OAK Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/OAKMiami/
OAK Pinterest (for when their online store is up): http://bit.ly/2vGMvN1