Shop — and Shores — is a labor of love for storeowner
by Dave Schwab
Published - 04/12/13 - 10:40 AM | 4527 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print

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The Shoppe at 2210 is an institution in La Jolla Shores — so much so that visitors often make the women’s apparel store their first stop when they arrive in town.

“I have clients that come in the winter and they stop at the boutique to see what I have before they even check into their hotels,” said owner Myrna Naegle. “Most of my clients, this is their own secret. They don’t want to share it with anyone.”

But word about Naegle’s designer lines — some that are found nowhere else in San Diego — has traveled far in the 20 years she has been in business in the Shores.

“You don’t find this in any department store,” said Naegle, gesturing to the merchandise in her classically elegant apparel shop on the ground floor at 2210 Avenida de La Playa.

What makes 2210 special wasn’t hard for Naegle to define.

“The designs are quality, glamorous — no on else has them, they’re totally exclusive,” she said.

The Shoppe at 2210 is classic from top to bottom. Heirloom antique furnishings create a charming ambiance showcasing the shop’s distinctive clothing and accessories, including one-of-a-kind jewelry.

Naegle said she interprets the “many shades of glamour” at her shop through her choice of designers. Two stand out in particular: Sonia Rykiel of Paris, with her ultra-chic feminine allure; and Geiger of Austria, the epitome of enduring classics.

“My clients tell me they don’t like shopping malls, where they feel that every department store has the same merchandise,” she said.

Like her shop, Naegle said, the clients at 2210 are sophisticated — typically women 50 and above searching for a distinctive look. Her clients, in turn, rave about Naegle and her eye for sophisticated fashion.

“Her shop has the kind of unique flavor that appeals to discerning women … most every customer who has walked into her place has walked out a friend,” said La Jollan Sue Whitman. “Her outgoing personality, enthusiasm and style is captivating … everything there has met her high standard of quality and design. Want something spectacular for a special occasion? She will go that extra mile to find it.”

Becoming a client of Naegle’s usually isn’t a one-time affair. Those who step into her shop often cultivate a business friendship for years to come.

“Years ago, my husband and I were on our way to lunch in La Jolla Shores and as we were walking we noticed a beautiful window display of exquisite clothes,” said longtime client Diana Karl. “We entered the boutique and were greeted by a beautiful, charming woman. We both were immediately taken by Myrna’s warmth and incredible knowledge as to choosing what would look best on her clients. Approximately one hour later we left, having purchased a Geiger suit and several other items.

“Needless to say, the rest is history — both my husband and I became not only admirers but also good friends,” Karl said. “My wardrobe has ‘Shoppe at 2210’ written all over it and the compliments I receive from my friends and strangers says it all. Myrna is an invaluable wardrobe consultant and has what I believe to be the best women’s clothing boutique in San Diego.”

Naegle carries multiple clothing sizes in her shop but can special order if necessary for her clients — both locals and visitors from around the world.

For special events, like Las Patronas’ annual Jewel Ball, for which she dresses many women, Naegle ensures that no two women purchase the same outfit for the same function. Men, meanwhile — and perhaps surprisingly — are some of Naegle’s best customers.

“Men come to shop for their wives and daughters,” she said. “They don’t worry about the prices. They see something, they like it. That’s it.”

Naegle lives upstairs from her boutique in quarters designed and built by her late husband, famed architect Dale Naegle. She said living above where she works facilitates serving clients, is handy for having lunch with them and is the fulfillment of her and Dale’s dream of keeping shop in live-work space.

“He was so concerned that California was becoming all shopping centers and speedways, that we were losing the village,” Naegle said. “He said, ‘If you live where you work, you preserve the village.’”

Naegle said she began her boutique two decades ago with beautiful jackets sent to her by her sister in Guatemala.

“The jackets immediately sold,” she said.

Shortly thereafter, she and Dale were invited to Egypt for a work project of her husband’s. There, she purchased exquisite garments and accessories for the shop, and the customers began flowing in.

Naegle still travels to Europe annually to attend fashion runway shows.

“You go to the runway show, and then you go to their showroom, and then you go to where they make the clothing and you have to spend a lot of time deciding the style and the colors,” she said, adding she takes a list of her clients with their sizes and orders with them in mind — an example of the personal attention offered to each client. Naegle collaborates to help customers “discover and polish” their own personal styles, previewing upcoming collections with them and assisting them with their selections.

“It’s very rewarding,” Naegle said.

Asked what she likes best about her job, Naegle replied simply, “Helping people. I enjoy fashion, I enjoy people. It’s a beautiful combination.”
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